Official: Problems Ignored At Stadium Hosting World Cup Opener In Brazil
A top labor official Thursday said that safety problems at the stadium hosting the World Cup opener in Brazil "were being ignored so work could finish in time for the tournament," according to Tales Azzoni of the AP. Sao Paulo Labor Ministry Superintendent Luiz Antonio Medeiros told the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper inspectors were "looking the other way" so the already-delayed stadium would be completed before the June 12 opener. Sao Paulo state prosecutors released a statement "pointing to irregularities at the Itaquerao stadium," saying it could close the venue "even during the World Cup" if problems were not fixed. Medeiros said that the importance of the stadium "made inspectors ignore some of the irregularities." Medeiros: "If it wasn't a World Cup stadium, officials would have reported precarious work (conditions) and would have halted the construction" (AP, 4/3).
OLYMPIC UPDATE: The AP also reported more than 2,000 construction workers "were off the job Friday in the second day of a strike that has slowed work at the Olympic Park," the main cluster of venues for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games. A spokesperson for construction consortium Rio Mais said that "he was not sure when work would resume." In a statement, Rio Mais said that "it expected any lost time to be made up quickly and said the construction timetable would not be affected" (AP, 4/4).