Sao Paulo World Cup Stadium Handed to Owners Unfinished

Liam NewmanContributor IApril 16, 2014

Men work at the still unfinished Itaquerao stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Tuesday, April 15, 2014. The stadium that will host the World Cup opener match between Brazil and Croatia on June 12, will hold nearly 70,000 people in the opener, but after the World Cup its capacity will be reduced to about 45,000. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
Andre Penner

Preparations for this summer’s FIFA World Cup have hit another setback as the venue for Brazil’s curtain-raiser was handed over to the owners incomplete.

There has been serious doubt as to whether the 68,000-seat venue will be ready in time for the big kick-off on June 12, and the latest news will only further increase those fears.

As per Andrew Downie of Reuters, construction firm Odebrecht have handed the stadium over to owners Corinthians without finishing the job. Work on the stadium was originally meant to be completed by December, and this revelation is bound to further raise questions.

However, those involved with the construction remain confident about the situation and insist the Corinthians Arena will be open in time for that first match between Brazil and Croatia.

Nevertheless, Corinthians president Mario Gobbi did concede, via Downie, “[there] is still a way to go and we need to work together.”

The amount of money being spent on the tournament has caused huge amounts of unrest throughout Brazil. Public dissatisfaction was displayed via several riots at last year’s Confederations Cup, and the fact this arena is running millions over budget will only add to their anger.

Money worries haven’t been the only issue, though. As reported by Bleacher Report’s Matt Fitzgerald, a worker died last month after falling 25 feet whilst working on the stadium. Tragically, he was the seventh fatality of the World Cup preparations.

Brazil has had seven years to prepare for this tournament, and these continued problems are a real cause for concern. The Corinthians Arena is due to host six matches during the World Cup, including one of the semi-finals. With time running out fast, that could be in serious jeopardy.

Let’s hope they have an alternative plan of action ready.


Will problems with stadia impact the success of this summer's World Cup? Post your thoughts below.