The 2014 World Cup is a little over a month away, and as Brazilian workers rush to make sure all stadiums are ready in time for the start the world's biggest football tournament, yet another fatal accident has reportedly occurred.
Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte, via Avi Creditor of Sports Illustrated, is reporting the World Cup has claimed its ninth victim in the form of 32-year-old Mohamed Ali Maciel, who was working on the Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba.
According to the report, the victim suffered an apparent electric shock while working on the stadium, and the news was later confirmed by BBC's Wyre Davies:
FIFA's Jerome Valcke was one of many expressing his condolences toward the victim's family and co-workers:
Saddened by the death of worker Muhammad'Ali Maciel Afonso at Arena Pantanal today. My thoughts are with his family and colleagues.— Jérôme Valcke (@jeromevalcke) May 8, 2014
World Cup organisers were unavailable for comments regarding the unfortunate death of Maciel, who worked for a company tasked with setting up communication and information networks around the stadium, per the Associated Press, via Fox Sports.
The Pantanal is already one of the stadiums hit most by delays, with the arena still missing seats just over a month ahead of the tournament. The same stadium was hit by a fire last year, and was originally scheduled for completion in 2012.
Chile and Australia are supposed to play the first match at the stadium on June 13, but following this latest incident and the delays it will inevitably bring, one has to wonder whether the stadium will be finished in time.
Yet far more important than a timetable for the stadium's completion is the fact a ninth life was lost in the lead-up to the tournament. While there has been no word on the cause of this accident, the way the workers are racing the clock to get the stadium completed in time is unsafe and cannot have helped the situation.
The World Cup is supposed to be a time of joy for everyone involved, and while fans will no doubt be troubled by the news another delay could be on the books for this particular stadium, the tournament will hold an entirely different meaning for yet another family forever.