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Brazil’s stadium construction far behind schedule

Apr 10, 2013, 2:05 PM EST

Brazil Soccer AP

Two months before Brazil hosts the Confederations Cup, only three of the six stadiums are ready, Reuters reports.

Recife’s venue is set to open on Sunday, joining Belo Horizonte, Fortaleza and Salvador in FIFA’s good books. But the governing body had already extended the construction deadline from last December to April 15.

So it can’t be happy at the sluggish progress – and with 550,000 tickets sold for the June tournament (featuring Spain and, uh, Tahiti) that’s a dress rehearsal for next year’s World Cup finals, spectators are entitled to feel concerned.

FIFA has given up hoping that everything will be spot-on by June. “Not all operational arrangements will be 100 per cent,” general secretary Jerome Valcke said last week, while insisting the competition will be “fantastic”.

If the Confederations Cup is a true test of Brazil’s ability to host the biggest sporting event on the planet, then at the moment the country looks in serious danger of flunking. Of course, things have a habit of coming together at the last minute, and the World Cup is still 14 months away.

But the notion that the construction of buildings holding tens of thousands of spectators may end up being rushed? That’s a little worrying.

FIFA is insistent that all 12 World Cup stadiums are ready by December. Anyone who’s attended a World Cup knows what a vast logistical operation it is, and that FIFA likes the tournament to run with all the precision you’d expect of an organization based in Switzerland.

But even if the venues are all smart and shiny by the big kick-off, that’s only one piece of the pie. There’s got to be adequate infrastructure for fans to arrive, stay in and travel through Brazil. And that’s a very real concern, too. And not something that FIFA can do much about, in truth. Stadiums, yes. Light-rail lines and new airport terminals? That’s a little beyond even FIFA’s ultimate influence.

Here’s a link to a video with a construction update that certainly whets the appetite – if you imagine the giant skeletons teeming with people, color, noise and passion in a little over a year’s time.

  1. dfstell - Apr 10, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    What is the back up plan if Brazil can’t be ready?

    • talgrath - Apr 10, 2013 at 6:16 PM

      Panic.

    • killabri - Apr 10, 2013 at 6:37 PM

      Back when South Africa was well behind and was in real danger of not being ready when the workers building the stadiums went on strike, FIFA mentioned that Spain, England, the US and I believe Germany were on the list of countries that could host with short notice (even though Germany had just hosted in 2006).

      I’m not sure it’ll come to that, but all of the above countries could organize a World Cup in about a week if they needed to. They already have the stadia and the travel infrastructure within the countries would be taxed but could probably handle a World Cup crowd.

      Tom mentions the chaos that will ensue in getting around Brazil, which I’ve heard is a nightmare on its best day. That will be Brazil’s biggest issue.

  2. bigdinla - Apr 10, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    I set the over/under for homicides at 200. Will be the bloodiest WC in history. This is not counting all of the smaller crimes like rape and assault. I would not go to this WC with out a trained bodyguard or 3.

  3. tylerbetts - Apr 10, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    They’re still light years ahead of Qatar’s construction. At least the “how” is in place, and they aren’t waiting for a new invention or someone to discover magic …

  4. korules - Apr 11, 2013 at 6:50 AM

    *fakes surprise*

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