World Cup worries grow for Brazil

The World Cup venue in Curitiba pictured in October 2012.

Story highlights

  • Brazilian judge halts work on World Cup stadium in Curitiba
  • Judge states workers in dangers of "being buried" and "other serious risks"
  • Meeting to be held Friday to determine when work can be restarted
  • World Cup starts on June 12 next year

Brazil's preparations for the 2014 World Cup suffered a setback Wednesday after a judge asked for the immediate suspension of construction at a host venue for the prestigious soccer tournament due to safety concerns.

The Arena de Baixada, also known as Estadio Joaquim Américo Guimarães, is in the city of Curitiba. The stadium is scheduled to host four group stage matches next June.

But Judge Lorena Colnago has suspended all work on the arena after declaring that workers were at serious risk of being injured

An inspection will be held before work can resume after the judge stated that workers were in danger of "being buried, run over, falling from heights and being hit by material, among other serious risks."

According to the Labor Court's press officer, Marcos Piso, the papers to suspend construction will be received by the venue's construction company CAP/SA Thursday.

A meeting between the building firm and court inspectors has been scheduled for Friday to broker a deal and move the project forward.

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The stadium, which is owned by the Atletico Paranaense club, already had its original plans curtailed when the installation of a retractable roof was postponed until after the tournament.

That decision followed a visit from FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke, who had declared that all stadiums would have to be ready by December.

In August, Brazil's sports minister Aldo Rebelo relayed concerns over delays at five stadiums being built for next year's June 12-July 13 tournament.

The opening game of the 2014 World Cup will be played in Sao Paulo, with the final set to take place at the world famous Maracana in Rio de Janeiro -- which reopened this year after lengthy renovations.

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