Sochi 2014 Scores with Brazilian Football Stars at Copa América 2007
Guatemala City, Guatemala, June 30, 2007 – As the 42nd Copa América finishes its first week of competition today in Venezuela, two top Brazilian football stars competing in the tournament have pledged their support to Sochi 2014 ahead of Brazil's crucial match against Chile on 1 July. In the final days before the International Olympic Committee chooses a Host City for the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Vágner Love and Jô (João Alves de Assis Silva) have joined Sochi 2014’s impressive list of champion ambassadors, highlighting Russia’s close ties to Brazil and South America.
The support for Russia’s bid from the Brazilian champion players comes just weeks after the announcement of a Brazilian football school opening in Sochi’s Krasnodar region in September, with a second school to follow in Moscow. The schools will bring the best Brazilian professionals to Russia to offer children aged 12-14 from low-income families the opportunity to develop their physical and intellectual abilities, through full secondary school classes, college preparation and football training.
To complete the bilateral football program, 36 Russian youngsters will arrive in Brazil on 5 July as part of an annual exchange program. They will spend two months at the Brazilian soccer club Figueirense Futebol Clube in Santa Catarina. The project is supported by the Russian and Brazilian ministries of Foreign Relations and Sports, along with the Brazilian National Sports Agency, the Russian House of Representatives (Duma), a Russian newspaper, the Novie Izvestia, and the Langsdorff Institute. Sochi 2014 is proud to continue the mission of bringing the two cultures together and fostering exchange through sport.
The enthusiastic Brazilian stars Vágner Love and Jô both play for CSKA Moscow and are helping to close the gap between the two cultures, one match and one victory at a time.
Jô commented on his support for Sochi 2014:
"As a Brazilian in Russia, it has been very interesting for me to see how important winter sports are to the people here. Since Russia has never hosted the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games before, I know that Sochi 2014 would be an exciting event for everybody".
"I have been made to feel welcome in Russia from the moment I arrived, and this has helped me to have a successful first season in the country. I truly hope that Russia's Bid is successful and urge everybody to support it."
Vágner Love said of his experience in Russia and his hopes for Sochi 2014:
"I have now spent three successful years in Russia, and the country feels like a home from home for me. I experience the sporting passion of Russians each time I take to the pitch, so I am confident that bringing the 2014 Olympic Winter Games to Sochi would guarantee an event to make everyone proud."
"I will of course be playing with my national team at the Copa America when the final decision is made, but I hope that both my country of birth and my country of residence are celebrating success in July."
The Copa América is the main international football tournament for the South American continent. It is organised by CONMEBOL, South America's football governing body, and will continue through July 15, 2007. This year’s edition marks the first time that Venezuela will host the tournament. The winner will represent CONMEBOL at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.