Brazil 2014 unveil name for World Cup armadillo mascot

Monday, 26 November 2012
By Duncan Mackay

FulecoNovember 26 - Fuleco is the name chosen by the Brazilian public for the controversial cartoon armadillo who will be the official mascot of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, it was announced today.   

The name - a combination of the Portuguese words for football (futebol) and ecology (ecologia) - earned 48 per cent of the vote in the poll which saw 1.7 million Brazilians vote.

Other options were Zuzeco, who got 31 per cent, and Amijubi, 21 percent, FIFA said on its website today.

The three-banded armadillo, which is indigenous to Brazil and known as the "tatu-bola", is an endangered species.

Its cartoon likeness wears a white "Brazil 2014" tee-shirt and green shorts, has its own song and website, mascot.fifa.com.

Fuleco was chosen after organisers reviewed 47 different designs from six different Brazilian agencies and researched how they were received by the main target audience of children aged five to 12.

One of the tournament's main aims, organisers claim, is to raise awareness about the environment and ecology.

World Cup mascots of previous tournaments have included a cuddly lion, World Cup Willie, for the 1966 edition in England, Tip and Tap in Germany in 1974, Naranjito the cartoon orange for Spain 1982, Pique the chili pepper in Mexico in 1986 and Zakumi the leopard at South Africa in 2010. 

Fuleco in Brazilian cityGiant inflatable versions of the 2014 World Cup mascot have been erected in major Brazilian cities

The yellow and blue armadillo was chosen in September and huge inflatable versions were set up in Brazil's 12 host cities.

But authorities were forced to take them down or increase security in at least three cities after vandals attacked them amid a public backlash caused by people wanting a "more democratic" choice of names.

Fuleco is expected to make an appearance in Sao Paulo on Saturday (December 1) at the draw for the 2013 Confederations Cup.

Manaus poster for World Cup 2014The poster for Manaus is one of 12 produced by the cities hosting World Cup matches in 2014

The naming of the mascot came on the same day that FIFA unveiled the posters to be used to publicise the tournament.

Each of the 12 host cities has its own poster and during the day each city staged an individual event at which the individual Host City posters were launched, highlighting how the cities can effectively work together to promote the event.

To see the posters from all 12 cities click here.

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Related stories
September 2012: Petition demands "more democratic" choice for Brazil 2014 World Cup mascot name
September 2012: Armadillo revealed as Brazil 2014 World Cup mascot
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