Why There Are Hands in the World Cup Logo

PHOTO: The official World Cup logo is seen on scaffold netting in Salvador on June 14, 2014, during the 2014 FIFA World Cup football tournament.
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You can’t use them when you play the game, but hands are apparently OK for soccer’s most famous logo -– the official emblem of the 2014 World Cup.

Green and yellow hands form the graphic logo, which were designed by the Brazilian ad agency Africa.

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“The role of the Official Emblem is to provide a strong, visual representation of both the event and the host country,” FIFA says on its website. “Though designing this can be a challenging task.”

Indeed. And sometimes confusing.

FIFA considered more than 125 logo submissions. A panel of influential Brazilians -- including supermodel Gisele Bundchen and author Paulo Coelho -- chose Africa as the winner based on “how well it conveyed the spirit of Brazil,” among other factors, FIFA said.

The design was inspired by the iconic photograph of three hands triumphantly holding the World Cup trophy. In Africa’s logo, the hands symbolize “warmly welcoming the world to Brazilian shores,” FIFA said, and the yellow and green represent Brazil’s strong sun and lush rainforests, as well as the colors of the country’s flag.

In other words, nothing to do with how soccer is played, that is, with your feet.

“The combination of the strong image, the contemporary typography and striking colors are extremely effective in depicting a modern and diverse host nation,” FIFA added.

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