World Cup 2014: Porto Alegre May Not Host Matches

By Douglas Smith
Porto Alegre World Cup Stadium
Getty Images

Problems continue during preparation for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The Beira-Rio Stadium in Porto Alegre may not host matches, as a budget shortfall has hurt the ability of the stadium owner to meet all regulations. Currently, four group stage matches and one Round of 16 match, that could feature the USMNT, are scheduled for the venue. There have been massive protests against the government and their spending habits, and several have lost their lives in construction accidents, so this is not the most pressing issue in World Cup preparation. However, it confirms how inadequate preparation has been in the South American country.

Sport Club Internacional chairman Giovanni Luigi said the stadium may not have the money to construct temporary facilities as instructed in their contract with FIFA. Temporary structures like a press box and various meeting rooms for volunteers are in question, so Luigi is in talks with  local and Rio Grande do Sul state authorities on how the costs might be shared. There is no guarantee that public funding would help close the gap.

The initial agreement was signed in 2007 and was edited in 2009, and it states that the stadium owners, Sport Club Internacional, are responsible for all additional items needed by FIFA, including generators and security scanners. Estádio José Pinheiro Borda, or Beira-Rio, is one of two stadiums that could lose their right to host World Cup matches. FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke is preparing a visit this weekend to Porto Alegre and Curitiba to see if their construction is on track.

FIFA had to drop the original construction deadline of Dec. 31 because six stadiums were not ready at that time. Sao Paulo’s Arena Corinthians will not be ready for inspection for up to two months because of the death of two construction workers, and construction in Manaus and Brasilia have resulted in deaths as well. These tragedies have fueled protests that continue to reinforce that these stadiums should not be the burden of the public.

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