Brazil is not finished with preparations for the 2014 World Cup, despite the kick off being only five weeks away.
The first game is set to take place in Sao Paulo’s Itaquera stadium between the host nation and Croatia on June 12th. However, a quarter of the stadiums across the country are not finished. Many of the transportation options for fans are not finished as well, including transport links and airport terminals, which are unlikely to be completed by June leaving some standing underneath tarps in airports waiting on a short supply of flights.
The closer the games get, the more accidents strike Brazil’s construction crews. There have been a total of eight deaths while trying to construct facilities for all the games. And with plenty more work to do, there’s only more pressure being put on the Brazilians and FIFA.
The problems won’t go away once the games are finished either. These stadiums are likely to fall to disuse considering Brazil’s professional teams are unlikely to fill up the massive amount of seats in the state of the art stadiums being built around the country. Along with construction problems, Brazil is facing issues from citizens protesting the World Cup and the amount of money being spent on facilities for the games. One supporter was killed when a toilet seat was thrown from the top of a stadium in Recife last week.
Jerome Valcke, FIFA’s secretary general, warned fans to be prepared when traveling to Brazil. Their ambitious undertaking of building stadiums in 12 different cities only makes things more difficult for those hoping to watch the games in person. “It was also a request from Brazil because they did not want Brazil to play only in one corner of the country, and that they could not make Brazil travel and all the other teams just stay in one place,” said Valcke.
FIFA had hoped that with 5 years of preparation, Brazil would be ready for the large undertaking, thinking that with enough time they would be able to deliver on the promises made when bidding on the Cup location. “We knew…but it was in 2009 and you can expect you have five years to make a change, five years for a country to make sure that when a decision is made at the request of the country that the structure is in place to deliver what you have agreed,” said Valcke about Brazil’s continued struggles.