Brazil falling short in rush to overhaul World Cup airports

April 7, 2014

Brad Haynes & Anthony Boadle – Reuters, 4/7/2014

With less than 10 weeks until the start of the World Cup, work on crucial new airport terminals has fallen behind in most of the dozen Brazilian host cities, heightening the risk of overcrowding and confusion during the tournament.

A temporary canvas terminal will be used instead of a planned airport expansion to receive fans in Fortaleza, which will host six matches including Brazil’s game against Mexico and a quarter-final. Officials are already preparing alternatives for other cities.

“Other airports have not said anything yet, but they will probably have to come up with contingencies,” said Carlos Ozores, a principal at aviation consultancy ICF International who has consulted for Brazilian airlines and airport operators.

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Brazil restarts construction at Amazon stadium after worker death

December 17, 2013

Matthew Cowley & Rogerio Jelmayer – Wall Street Journal, 12/16/2013

Some construction work on a World Cup stadium in the heart of the Amazon that will host the U.S. soccer team next year partially restarted on Monday after a two-day suspension following a death at the site on Saturday.

The accident dealt another blow to the country’s efforts to complete stadiums in time for the world’s most-watched sports tournament, which will be held in June and July. It has again brought into focus questions about safety at World Cup construction sites following two deaths at the Arena Corinthians stadium under construction in São Paulo on Nov. 27.

Brazil has yet to deliver six of the 12 stadiums that will be used in the 2014 World Cup. All six were scheduled to be completed by the end of this year, but the recent accidents mean some will be delayed beyond that. There are doubts too about stadiums in the southern city of Curitiba and the center-west city of Cuiabá.

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Another World Cub construction death in Brazil

December 16, 2013

CNN, 12/15/2013

A construction worker in Brazil died early Saturday after falling off the roof of the World Cup stadium in the Amazonian city of Manaus.

Five workers have died on construction sites of World Cup stadiums under construction in Brazil, hosts of next year’s international soccer tournament.

The worker, identified as Marcleudo de Melo Ferreira, fell 35 meters from the roofing structure and was rushed to the hospital, where he died of his injuries.

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Brazil’s child sex trade soars as 2014 World Cup nears

December 9, 2013

The Guardian, 12/09/2013

A tiny figure in minuscule white shorts and a pink strapless top leans against a metal fence outside a school in Fortaleza, the capital of Ceará state, north-east Brazil.

She has gloss-coated lips, and her yellow headband, holding back long hair, glows in the lamplight along Juscelino Kubitschek Avenue, which connects the city to the Castelão arena, one of the venues for the 2014 World Cup. A car pulls up. The girl climbs in.

This is a common scene around the stadium in Fortaleza, considered Brazil’s child prostitution capital and a magnet for sex tourism, according to local authorities.

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Brazil downplays missing FIFA’s stadium deadline

December 5, 2013

Associated Press, 12/04/2013

The Brazilian government has brushed aside the importance of more delays in completing 2014 World Cup stadiums, saying that missing FIFA’s deadline will not affect the country’s ability to successfully host next year’s tournament.

A day after FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke said three stadiums would not be ready in time for the Dec. 31 deadline, Brazilian officials said they actually plan to deliver all six remaining venues after that date.

They claim only three are delayed, with the other three being handed over after the expected date only because of problems accommodating the schedule of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who wants to be present for the ceremonies.

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Brazil sues FIFA over soccer World Cup costs

October 29, 2013

Patricia Rey Mellen – International Business Times, 10/28/2013

In the latest episode of the 2014 World Cup saga, Brazilian prosecutors are seeking an injunction to block the use of public funds for temporary infrastructure at World Cup stadiums located throughout Brazil. Structures like tents, cabling and communication equipment for broadcasters offer no long-term benefit to society, the prosecutors argue, and therefore they should be paid by the Fédération Internationale of Football Associations, the world soccer governing body.

If successful, the injunction could save Brazil almost 1.2 billion reals ($540 million) in taxpayer money, according to the statement released on Friday by the Procuradoria Geral da República (public prosecutor’s office, or PGR, the equivalent of the U.S. attorney general). Brazil is not served by these expenditures for a private event, they argue, saying: “What is the public interest in paying for these services, if FIFA will be the only holder of … [their] rights and sells them at millionaire prices?”

Brazil is spending about $3.5 billion to build or refurbish 12 stadiums for the tournament, which many Brazilians think should have been spent on other things, like health care or education. The public outrage propelled many to the streets in June and July, leading to the largest public demonstrations Brazil has ever seen.

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Valcke in Brazil amid uncertainty over stadiums

October 7, 2013

Tales Azzoni – The Miami Herald, 10/07/2013

FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke began his latest inspection tour of World Cup host cities Monday amid uncertainty about whether Brazil will be able to deliver the final six stadiums by the December deadline established by FIFA.

Valcke is visiting the southern city of Porto Alegre and will then move to the wetlands city of Cuiaba, where local organizers are still trying to finalize a bidding process for the seats at the new stadium.

There were problems in the southern city of Curitiba, too, where construction was halted because of workers’ safety concerns.

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Brazil with little time to get World Cup stadiums ready

October 4, 2013

Tales Azzoni – Miami Herald, 10/04/2013

While the goalposts were being installed at the stadium which will host the World Cup opener in Sao Paulo, organizers in the wetlands city of Cuiaba were still trying to find a supplier for the seats for their venue.

While grass was being planted at the pitch in the jungle city of Manaus, organizers in the southern city of Curitiba were looking to overturn a judge’s order that halted their stadium construction because of workers’ safety concerns.

With less than three months to go before the December deadline established by FIFA for the delivery of the 12 World Cup stadiums, Brazil is working at full steam to have all venues ready in time. Local organizers are saying they will make it, but some recent setbacks have prompted reason for concern.

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Why is Brazil hosting the 2014 world cup?

October 3, 2013

Arjun Sethi – USA Today, 10/02/2013

The 2014 World Cup in Brazil is a homecoming of sorts. It marks the first time in more than 30 years that soccer’s greatest championship will return to South America, its birthplace and the site of the inaugural tournament. In 1930, the event fielded 13 teams from three continents. Next year, it will field 32 teams spanning five continents.

It also marks the first time that Brazil will be hosting the championship in more than six decades. For many, the timing couldn’t be better. The nation now boasts the seventh largest economy in the world and a successful tournament will christen Brazil’s arrival as a global economic power. Brazil is also the favorite to win, and in the process, dethrone Spain, the reigning Euro Cup and World Cup champion, a team that many consider the greatest ever assembled.

Yet, recent protests in Brazil, and the promise of more to follow, tell a starkly different story. While sparkling new stadiums begin to dot the Brazilian skyline, ordinary Brazilians are feeling the pinch. This summer, more than a million took to the streets to express a popular disenfranchisement that is now spreading across the country. Many protested the rising cost of public transportation; some excoriated the government for rampant corruption, which runs in the billions of dollars every year; and others lamented Brazil’s crumbling infrastructure, which was recently ranked 114th out of 148 countries by the World Economic Forum.

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World Cup worries grow for Brazil

October 3, 2013

CNN, 10/02/2013

Brazil’s preparations for the 2014 World Cup suffered a setback Wednesday after a judge asked for the immediate suspension of construction at a host venue for the prestigious soccer tournament due to safety concerns.

The Arena de Baixada, also known as Estadio Joaquim Américo Guimarães, is in the city of Curitiba. The stadium is scheduled to host four group stage matches next June.

But Judge Lorena Colnago has suspended all work on the arena after declaring that workers were at serious risk of being injured.

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