News Column

Scramble to Finish World Cup Stadiums in Brazil

June 3, 2014

Cape Argus (South Africa)

With nine days until the World Cup begins, Brazil is rushing to finish installing seats in stadiums and to deal with threats ranging from violent protests to dengue fever.

The countdown to kick-off has been marred by protests - from striking drivers who abandoned their buses mid-route to indigenous leaders in bright-feathered headdresses shooting arrows at police.

Anger over the more than $11 billion being spent on the event has raised fears of a return to the violence seen last year during the Confederation Cup, a World Cup dress rehearsal.

Then, clashes erupted as a million people flooded the streets calling for more money for social programmes and less for stadiums.

But recent protests have been smaller, with journalists and street vendors sometimes outnumbering the crowds of anti-government demonstrators chanting: "There won't be a World Cup!"

In a country that takes pride in its five World Cup titles, the tournament is starting to unleash growing excitement, with media providing exhaustive coverage of the Brazilian team's training camp.

The host stadiums in Sao Paulo, Curitiba, Cuiaba, Natal and Porto Alegre are all unfinished to varying degrees. The Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo, which will host the opening ceremony and first match, held a |second test event on Sunday but is still under construction. - Sapa-AFP

Source: (c) 2014 Independent Newspapers (Pty) Limited. All rights strictly reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (

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