Soccer

FIFA: 2014 WCup 1st with full sustainability plan

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SAO PAULO (AP)

FIFA said Tuesday it will invest $20 million to help make the 2014 World Cup the first with a comprehensive sustainability strategy.

Football's world governing body presented its plans at Rio+20, the United Nations' conference on sustainable development.

''As one of the largest sports events in the world, the FIFA World Cup has a considerable impact on society and the environment,'' FIFA said in a statement. ''The sustainability strategy aims not only to mitigate the negative impact but also to maximize the positive effects of hosting the FIFA World Cup.''

In addition to the $20 million invested by FIFA to implement the strategy, support for the sustainability effort will also come from FIFA's commercial affiliates, local government and other stakeholders involved in the World Cup, FIFA said.

FIFA added that green stadiums, waste management, community support, reducing and offsetting carbon emissions, renewable energy, climate change and capacity development are some of the key issues that will be addressed by the entity and local organizers in the next two years.

''The ultimate goal is to stage an event that uses resources wisely, striking a balance between economic aspects, social development and environmental protection,'' said Federico Addiechi, FIFA's Head of Corporate Social Responsibility.

''We have joined Rio+20 because we want to contribute and to ensure that future generations have the same opportunities to meet their needs as this generation,'' he said. ''We also want to ensure that the 2014 FIFA World Cup will be remembered not only as a fantastic football tournament but for its lasting social and environmental legacy.''

FIFA said the sustainability strategy for the World Cup in Brazil builds on the experience gained from environmental and social development programs at tournaments organized by the governing body since 2005.

''Football is arguably the Brazilians' greatest passion, and football and the FIFA World Cup can certainly be strong catalysts for changing attitudes in favor of living more sustainable lives and adapting our daily routines,'' said former Brazil striker Bebeto, a member of the local World Cup organizing committee.

Some of the stadiums that will be used in the World Cup are already taking into consideration sustainable ideas. The venues in Salvador, Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro, which will host the final at the Maracana, will all be powered by solar energy.

The government said Brazil's recent advances in sustainability made it imperative that the subject became a feature of the World Cup.

''Brazil is now playing a globally prominent role in environmental affairs, and this is because it has managed in the last few years to combine economic growth with social inclusion and a commitment to the environment,'' said Luis Fernandes, the executive secretary at Brazil's sports ministry.

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