Brazil World Cup Host City Porto Alegre May Drop Out Due To Lack Of Funding
The mayor of the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre "has warned the city may drop out of the World Cup unless it makes a crucial decision this week on financing for temporary structures at the Beira Rio stadium," according to Andrew Downie of REUTERS. Mayor Jose Fortunati "encouraged the city council to pass a law giving tax breaks to companies that would finance the structures needed during the tournament." Some council members "have expressed opposition to the measure but Fortunati warned if they do not vote on Tuesday as planned, the city will run out of options." Fortunati: "If the (project) isn't voted then there won't be a World Cup in Porto Alegre" (REUTERS, 3/24). The BBC reported Fortunati told a local station "there was no plan B" to find extra funding. Porto Alegre's Beira Rio stadium "is nearly ready, but it still needs temporary structures to house the media, sponsors and other requirements" by FIFA. The outside of the stadium "is still unfinished" (BBC, 3/24). The AP reported Fortunati's comments came the day FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke "arrived in Rio de Janeiro for a series of meetings to discuss Brazil's preparations for the tournament that starts in June." There is "no timetable on the vote," and FIFA said that "it can take up to three months to put the structures in place." The World Cup begins on June 12. The bill "must be approved by Rio Grande do Sul lawmakers to secure tax exemptions for companies interested in funding the facilities" (AP, 3/25). In London, Owen Gibson noted Brasília's new stadium "is believed to have been placed on standby to host extra World Cup matches if any of the planned venues are not finished in time" (GUARDIAN, 3/25).