FIFA and Brazil’s 2014 World Cup Organizing Committee have presented the soccer championship’s mascot, an armadillo whose name will be decided by popular vote and which will be used to raise awareness about the importance of ecology and the environment.
Soccer star Ronaldo Nazario de Lima was chosen to present the final design of the mascot on Brazil’s Globo television, FIFA said on its Web site.
The Brazilian striker confessed to feeling “very happy…to be able to welcome such an important member of the 2014 team,” one that will be an “illustrious ambassador” for Brazil “over the next two years.”
The Brazilian said “it will inspire soccer-playing children and young people in Brazil and around the world with the immense passion it feels for soccer and country.”
Brazilian fans will choose the mascot’s name in polling that will continue until mid-November, and in which each person will vote for one of the three names selected by a jury of ex-soccer players like Bebeto and which are “Amijubi,” “Fuleco” and “Zuzeco.”
The mascot, which has as its official anthem “Tatu Bom de Bola,” sung by vocalist Arlindo Cruz, was chosen by FIFA and the organizing committee after comparing 47 entries from six Brazilian agencies.
“It’s very appropriate that the Brazilian three-banded armadillo is an endangered species, because one goal of the World Cup is to use the championship to raise people’s awareness about the importance of ecology and the environment,” FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke said.