2014 World Cup Opener Will Highlight Deficiencies in Preparation

By Douglas Smith
2014 World Cup Arena Corinthians
Getty Images

While the excitement of the World Cup finally kicking off after much anticipation will take the headlines, it is the construction woes and infrastructure shortages that continue to be on display. Many of the journalists in Brazil to cover the tournament have taken photos or videos of the stadiums to highlight the lack of preparation by officials in Brazil. When the host nation takes on Croatia later today, expect to see those deficiencies on display.

The Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo is the site of the opening match of the 2014 World Cup. Shots of game play may not highlight any delays in construction, but many have spoken of the scaffolding staircase put in place outside the arena rather than a permanent structure. There is also the question of 10,000 temporary seats that still had people working away on them yesterday. The temporary seats were just approved last week. Even certain safety features like outside lighting are not finished. They have had to rent lights to put outside the stadium.

This is also one of several arenas that had a fatal accident occur during its construction. Two workers were killed when part of a crane collapsed in November 2013. The tragedy put a delay on the construction, rightfully so.

The stadium construction shows faults and so does the nearby public metro. Every line is congested like rush hour in New York City, and there is a threat of a strike today. Some airport staff walked off the job in Rio yesterday, so transit officials walking away over pay and infrastructure would not be a surprise. It is hard to fault the workers for using this time to leverage their demands. Unfortunately, the congestion is a norm in Sao Paulo.

Many of the aesthetics are missing as well. The hillsides are chunks of sod that have not had time to settle. Structures for media access and other pre-game rituals are replaced by tents. The demand from journalists knocked the ticket distribution down by 7,000. All stadiums were supposed to have permanent structures for press and staff.

These issues will not halt the celebration, but they do continue to illustrate a gloomy reality in Brazil. More protests are bound to come, but as the new stadiums fill the concerns over safety doesn’t change even while in your seat. The television broadcasts will show all the pretty pictures, but watch for personal accounts regarding the lack of completion.

Douglas Smith is a soccer writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @DFresh39, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.


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