A rare species of armadillo is set to be the official mascot for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The armadillo was chosen ahead of a puma and a character from Brazilian folklore known as `Saci`, who was rumoured to be the preference of Aldo rebelo, the Brazilian Sports Minister.
World football`s governing body FIFA registered a patent for the mascot on the European Union`s trademark website OHIM on Tuesday, just days after the design was shown on Brazilian TV show Fantastico.
The Tolypeutes tricinctus, or tatu-bola as it is known in Portuguese, is an endangered mammal native to Brazil. It is characterized by its ability to roll into the shape of a ball under a leathery shell as a mode of self defense.
A nickname for the mascot will be decided by an internet poll, in the same way the 2014 World Cup match ball was given its name "Brazuca" earlier this month.
The tatu-bola was chosen as the tournament mascot by Brazil`s World Cup organizing committee (COL) following a campaign by local animal protection association Caatinga.