By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – As 2012 ended there was good news for two more 2014 World Cup host cities, this following the December news that the first two stadiums were declared ready for the tournament. Now capital city Brasília and financial center São Paulo both took steps forward in their preparations for football’s biggest tournament.
At the Mané Garrincha Stadium in Brasília, the initial stage of roof installation was performed this past weekend. The complex process took eight days to complete and the final stages were publicly encouraged by state governor Agnelo Queiroz.
An impressive 48 suspension cables, totaling 6.5km in length, were used to keep the structure in place, and next, installation of the supporting metal trusses can commence. The second stage is more arduous and time consuming work, and the roof should be fully installed in March.
At the time of writing, the Mané Garrincha Stadium is considered 87 percent complete. A delivery date has not yet been made public, but the local state government has issued a guarantee that the arena will be finished by the deadline set by FIFA, April 15th.
The stadium will play a leading role in the country’s footballing scene over the next eighteen months. The stadium will be the setting for the opening ceremony of the FIFA Confederations Cup on June 15th, followed by the competition’s curtain raiser between Brazil and Japan.
The stadium will also host seven games during the 2014 World Cup the following year, including one of Brazil’s games during the group stage. Alongside Rio’s Maracanã Stadium, the Mané Garrincha will host the most World Cup matches.
Meanwhile, in São Paulo the Itaquerão Stadium finished the year a promising sixty percent complete. It was excellent news for the city and its residents, who for long periods lived through uncertainty as to whether they would see the World Cup at all.
After over two years of confusion and hindrance, there is finally an end in sight. The Itaquerão, which will become the home of World Club champions Corinthians after the World Cup, should be ready in December 2013.
Rafael Nascimento, a Corinthians fan and Paulista living in Rio de Janeiro, told The Rio Times of his happiness that the new stadium is now a certainty. “The whole situation was a big mess for a long time, but Paulistas always get the job finished in the end. And now Corinthians will have a beautiful new stadium. The Pacaembu is very old and a new place for football was necessary.”
To ensure there are no further delays to the project, close to 2,000 workers will be working at the site, taking shifts around the clock. Work is expected to continue 24 hours-a-day to meet the December deadline according to representatives.
The 2014 FIFA World Cup is to be the 20th FIFA World Cup (held every four years) and scheduled to take place in Brazil from June 12th to July 13th. This is the second time Brazil has hosted the FIFA World Cup, the first was in 1950 when they lost to Uruguay 2-1 in the finals.