Construction and labor issues continue to plague Brazil's preparations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
"There are delays but they will not be significant. What matters is that we are ready to go in January… In every wedding that I attended the bride was late. I've never seen a bride arrive on time - but never saw a marriage that didn't go ahead." Aldo Rebelo, Brazil's sports minister
A crane at the construction site of the World Cup stadium in Sao Paulo collapsed on Nov. 27, killing two people — not three, as was initially reported — and damaging the stadium, which is required by FIFA to be complete in December. The World Cup is set for June and July of 2014.
"Countless infractions have been committed, in various stages of the building process… [Workers are in danger of] being buried, run over and of collision, falling from heights and being hit by construction material, among other serious risks." Judge Lorena Colnago, labor tribunal
Jerome Valcke, FIFA's Secretary General, said on August 2 that soccer's organizing body will be closely inspecting the construction of the six stadiums that are yet to be finished ahead of next summer's World Cup. FIFA has said that it will not tolerate the problems that plagued Brazil's stadiums before the Confederations Cup.
While investigating construction work on Sao Paulo's airport, which is being expanded ahead of the 2014 World Cup, Brazil's labor ministry found 111 workers facing "slave-like conditions." Many were recruited from distant states and forced to live in makeshift camps while waiting to be formally hired.
The labor ministry has filed an injunction seeking $62,000 in fines. This action will likely be replaced by a civil lawsuit within 30 days.
Qatar, which will host the 2022 World Cup, has also been accused of allowing poor working conditions as it prepares for the event.
Heavy rainwater caused part of the roof of the Fonte Nova stadium in Salvador, Brazil, to collapse on May 27, adding to the World Cup host nation's construction woes. It was repaired by mid-June.
Shortly after warning that Brazil might lose the right to host matches because of construction delays, FIFA said on May 15 that the country was back on track to finish the Itaquerao stadium — set to hold the World Cup opening match in 2014 — by the original Dec. 31 deadline.
The inauguration of the Mane Garrincha arena in Brasilia, which is to hold seven World Cup matches, took place on May 18 after being postponed from April 21 — the fifth delay for the stadium. FIFA set the Dec. 31 deadline for six other stadiums that will host the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
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