News / Americas

Brazil Speeds Up Venue Construction After Nearly Getting Axed From World Cup

Brazil Speeds Up Venue Construction After Nearly Getting Axed From World Cupi
X
February 23, 2014 12:07 PM
Many in Brazil sighed with relief after international football officials this week approved a construction delay for a Curitiba city stadium. Last month, FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) threatened to remove Curitiba from the 2014 World Cup for failing to meet a series of construction deadlines. The stadium is now due for completion in mid-May, about a month before the start of the world's most important football event. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Zlatica Hoke
Many in Brazil sighed with relief after international football officials this week approved a construction delay for a Curitiba city stadium.  Last month, FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) threatened to remove Curitiba from the 2014 World Cup for failing to meet a series of construction deadlines.  The stadium is now due for completion in mid-May, about a month before the start of the world's most important football event. 

Nearly 1,400 workers are now working around the clock to finish the stadium on time.  Electrician Francisco Santos said the FIFA ultimatum was a wake-up call for Brazilian organizers. “They have now opened their eyes and they are employing enough people," he said. "Now it will work.”

The Geneva-based football federation determined Tuesday that Curitiba is capable of finishing on time the infrastructure necessary for the matches it will host.  Lawyer Nelsson Gomez said the decision saves Brazil's national pride. “It would have been a humiliation if Curitiba had been dropped.”

The country's vice minister of sports, Luis Fernandes, was more concerned about preventing the financial loss Brazil would have suffered if Curitiba had lost its status as a World Cup venue.   

"It's a victory, in quotation marks.  It is a victory as we turned around a situation which was heading towards the axing of a host city.  And we think it's very important that the World Cup takes place in Brazil's 12 host cities.  Because beyond the joy of the competition, it brings development and economic potential to the country's 12 regional centers.  So on this aspect, yes, it was a victory," explained Fernandes. "Ideally, it would not have come to this with Curitiba and the stadium would be already ready."

Others want the construction to end for a different reason.

“We want them to put back in order everything that they got dirty.  That’s what I want,” said Deshanine Dominone who lives near the stadium.

Many Brazilians are not happy about the multi-billion-dollar cost of hosting the World Cup and two years later the Olympic Games.

But former player Ronaldo, a member of the local World Cup organizing committee, said the benefits will be worth it. "It's our job to show to this small minority against the World Cup, that the World Cup will be a big celebration, a big business, leaving hundreds of legacies to our people," he said.

Curitiba venue Arena da Baixada will seat 41,000 spectators.  Officials have promised non-stop parties throughout Brazil during the World Cup.

You May Like

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

US Congress Deadlocked on Immigration as It Heads to Vacation

Republicans in House of Representatives call off vote on how to deal with influx of more than 57,000 unaccompanied Central American children
More

Argentina Defaults Again on Debt

Negotiators failed late Wednesday to reach an agreement with New York investment companies to avert the default
More

Cameroon’s Coffee Farmers Blame Government for Production Drops

Cameroon's growers, dealers and experts mourn declines in a nation that once ranked 12th in the world.
More

Argentina, US Creditors Fail to Reach Deal; Default Imminent

This will mark the second time in 13 years Argentina has defaulted on its debt
More

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Officials grapple with ways to deal with problem, provide shelter for thousands of minors among illegal border crossers
More

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Legal school segregation ended in the US 60 years ago, but research project finds it still occurs based on income and race
More