Rio de Janeiro, Jan 23 (IANS) Brazil plans to have one million volunteers participating at this year's FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2014 World Cup, the federal government said.
The ambitious objective was revealed during the launch of the Brasil Voluntario program in Brasilia Tuesday, which will initially entail the selection and training of seven million volunteers for June's FIFA Confederations Cup, reports Xinhua.
The government had already announced 50,000 volunteers would be needed for the World Cup, but sports minister Aldo Rebelo said the figure would reach one million when combined with the Confederations Cup and FIFA's own volunteer program.
"Volunteers are essential to the success of the event, both from an operational point of view and also helping in the street," Rebelo said.
The figure represents a ten-fold increase on the number of volunteers reported at the 2009 Confederations Cup and 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Applicants have until Feb 16 to apply for a volunteering position at the Confederations Cup, which is considered an organisational warm-up for the World Cup a year later.
Rebelo said the government would invest $15 million on training and preparation in the program's first phase.
He said volunteers would include members of Brazil's indigenous population, students from neighbouring South American countries, foreigners whose mother-tongue is Portuguese as well as private and public school students.