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The three banded armadillo mascot “Fuleco” was selected by the Brazilians as the 2014 FIFA World Cup official mascot. After a three months of controversial voting process Fuleco was selected as an world cup official mascot in September 2012.
FIFA said that to select the name of the mascot ” Fuleco”, more than 1.7 million Brazilians took part and there was no dispute about this voting. There were some other options too. The name like were Zuzeco and Amijubi were among them.
During the polling a vast number of Brazilians were not pleased with the names picked. The critics said that the organization should have allowed fans to choose others names. There was even an online petition demanding a more democratic approach in selection of the name of the mascot Fuleco.
Fuleco is a Portuguese word derived from “futebol”(football) and “ecologia”(ecology). About the mascot FIFA said,
” seamlessly represents the way in which the FIFA World Cup can combine the the two to encourage people to behave in an environmentally friendly way.”
Football’s governing body said Fuleco received 48 percent vote. Zuzeco receiving 31% and amijubi 21%, they were not able to qualify.
Amijubi comes from the words “amizade”(friendship) and “jubilo”(joy). Zuzeco comes from the words “azul”(blue) and “ecologia”(ecology).
The former Brazilian player Bebeto, Brazilian celebrities and politicians joined a high profile judging committee as a selection team for the mascot that’s what FIFA said. The organising committee said that as the names needed to fulfill some legal requirements like trademark s and other rights, the fans suggestions were not feasible to encourage.
The tatu-bola, a three banded armadillo found in the northeastern Brazil is named so because of it’s three distinctive bands on its shell. The armadillo is in grave danger of extinction now. It tools up into a shape of a rolling ball when threatened. Fuleco carries the colours of Brazilian flag, green, yellow and blue. The armadillo is yellow with green shorts and blue shell and tail. On it’s white shirt “Brazil 2014” is written.
In 2010 FIFA World Cup official mascot’s name was Zakumi, a leopard and in 2006 the mascot was a lion named “Goleo”.