Brazil: Will key World Cup 2014 venue be ready in time?

Brazil: Will key World Cup 2014 venue be ready in time?
By Chris Harris with REUTERS
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One of the key venues for the football World Cup in Brazil this summer may not be ready, it’s been conceded.

Much-needed extra funding may scupper Porto Alegre’s chance of hosting matches, according to the city’s mayor.

The stadium in southern Brazil – which has been given matches involving France, Netherlands and Argentina – is nearly ready, but temporary structures to house media and sponsors are still outstanding.

The government is unable to commit public cash for infrastructure that will not be used after the tournament.

Mayor Jose Fortunati told a local station that a key bill giving tax breaks to firms that invested in temporary structures must be passed this week.

He told Radio Gaucha: “If the project is not voted on, we won’t have a World Cup in Porto Alegre. There’s no Plan B, nor C, nor Z.”

The issue underlines Brazil’s troubled preparations for the month-long tournament, which is set to start on June 12.

Three of the 12 stadiums are still not ready and many public transportation projects have been scaled back or abandoned.

There has also been widespread anti-government protests amid concerns millions is being spent on a football World Cup at a time when transport infrastructure is inadequate.

There were also clashes at last year’s Confederations Cup in Brazil, widely seen as a warm-up for this summer’s tournament.

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