Brazilian armadillo football Word Cup symbol

This video from Brazil is about the three-banded armadillo as soccer World Cup 2014 symbol.

From the Caatinga Association, conservationists in Brazil:

After 64 years, Brazil returns to stage the biggest sporting spectacle on the planet: World Cup Soccer and any [animal] that is chosen for the event should show the “face” of Brazil and the “face” of our football.

The Caatinga Association, an institution that advocates the development and protection of our biodiversity, [has] proposed as an animal mascot [a] very special and unique [species] that only exists here in Brazil: the three-banded armadillo (Tolypeutes tricinctus), [with] the ability to bend upon itself to protect themselves when threatened, leaving the shape of a ball.

[It is] nocturnal, feeds on ants, termites, spiders and berries. It is the most endangered armadillo from Brazil and has already [become extinct in] many states. [It shows] peculiar behavior, which could brighten the cup, showing the world our rich nature and our commitment to biodiversity as well as sensitiz[ing] the people of Brazil for the defense and protection of our nature. This graceful animal is the main protagonist in the name of football: the ball.

8 thoughts on “Brazilian armadillo football Word Cup symbol

  1. You hit on two of my strange collection of experiences — soccer and nine-banded armadillos. I learned soccer late in life (when I was in college), which was shortly after I caught my first armadillo. They’re much faster than they look, especially on rough or broken ground.

    Armadillos have replaced the opossum as road decorations throughout most of the southern U.S. because of the peculiar way they defend themselves. (I’ve also caught an opossum, which is much slower. I don’t recommend it because they’ve got a nasty bite, although I avoided that.) In the wild, just before whatever is threatening the armadillo makes contact, they jump straight up into the air and let whatever was chasing them either go under or knock them to the side, after which they scramble in a new direction. It’s a strange sight to watch a coyote try to catch an armadillo. Anyway, back to cars and armadillos. The reason you see so many flattened by the roadside isn’t because they’ve been run over. Just before the car gets there, they up and make it to about bumper or grill level before the car hits them.

    The armadillo that I caught was in an open field at dusk, and my wife at the time wanted me to catch it. It took nearly a quarter mile to close the gap, and as I was trying to bend down as I ran, it jumped right into my arms, making a much easier time of it than I expected. My shirt and arms wound up smelling like fresh Oklahoma cow pasture and armadillo piss, but I got it back to the car for my wife. The armadillo gave me the most thorough gumming of my life. Actually they do have teeth, but it’s like being chewed by a bunch of really blunt pegs.

    The first order of business when we got home was to give it a bath, which I let my wife do while I caught it each time it tried to get out of the tub. We only kept it for a short while because of its other habits. Even in a small apartment, they can disappear. There are two places to look. If you have a loaded bookshelf or a piece of furniture that is too heavy to move, it’ll have moved it and will be behind it. The other place it will have burrowed is between your mattress and the box-spring. After several days (and nights) of this we donated it to the local Mammal Range (something like a cross between a closed zoo and a place to study mammals).

    And now the tour has ended and we’re back from memory lane.


  2. Thursday September 20, 2012 3:12PM ; Updated: Thursday September 20, 2012 5:05PM

    Brazilians want new names for World Cup mascot

    SAO PAULO (AP) — The armadillo has been a hit with Brazilian fans as the choice for the 2014 World Cup mascot, but the three names local organizers picked for public voting have not pleased a lot of people in Brazil.

    Online polls conducted by local media have shown the vast majority of Brazilians don’t like the names listed by local organizers – Amijubi, Fuleco and Zuzeco.

    In three days, more than 23,000 people have signed an online petition demanding a “more democratic” approach in which fans could make suggestions. The petition wants local organizers to allow fans to write-in new names, making the five most popular choices available for voting. It says it’s important the mascot has a “decent name.”

    But despite the public demand for change, organizers said Thursday that they will not add or remove names to the list available for public voting.

    “The names will not be revised,” the local organizing committee said in a statement. “We are confident that after the Brazilian public votes to decide the name of the mascot, it will start developing along with the character.”

    FIFA said the three names come from a mix of Brazilian words which represent friendliness, joy and ecology – all characteristics linked to the Brazilian people and the country.

    Amijubi comes from the words “amizade” (friendship) and “jubilo” (joy), Fuleco comes from “futebol” (football) and “ecologia” (ecology), while Zuzeco comes from “azul” (blue) and “ecologia” (ecology).

    FIFA said the three options were picked “after a vote by a high-profile judging committee” in Brazil, including former Brazil player Bebeto and Brazilian celebrities and politicians. The initial list had 450 names, according to local organizers, who said the names which made the final list had to meet several legal requirements in order to be approved.

    Polls on the and the web portals show that more than 75 percent of voters didn’t like any of the three names selected by organizers.

    The winner of the public voting on FIFA’s website will be announced on Nov. 25.

    The three-banded armadillo, which is in danger of extinction, rolls up into the shape of a ball when threatened and is found in northeastern Brazil. The mascot carries the colors of the Brazilian flag. It is yellow, with green shorts and a blue shell and tail. It is dressed in a white shirt with the words “Brazil 2014” written on it.

    The mascot of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa was a leopard called Zakumi, while the 2006 tournament in Germany had a lion called Goleo.

    FIFA and Adidas recently announced that Brazilians voted to call the World Cup ball “Brazuca,” an informal word often used to describe national pride. They said the name “symbolizes emotion” and “goodwill to all,” mirroring Brazil’s “approach to football.”

    Earlier this year, organizers announced “All in one rhythm” as the official World Cup slogan, representing the “unique flavor that Brazil will bring” to football’s showcase event.

    Brazil will host the World Cup for the first time since 1950.

    Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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