POSTED: October 28th 2009

Brazilians back Olympic and World Cup promises with stadia cash

President Lula: decisive meetings / lake images
President Lula: decisive meetings / lake images

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT / Sports Features Communications

RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazilian government promises that there would be no problem putting state funds into World Cup and Olympic building projects are being put into practice.

The first gesture since Rio de Janeiro won host rights to the 2016 Olympic Games has been an announcment by the state development bank that it will provide up to $2.77bn for work on the 12 stadia that will stage matches in the 2014 World Cup.

The credit line will be limited to a maximum of 75pc of the total cost of each project, the BNDES stated after a meeting between government ministers and President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

One of the strongest arguments wielded by the Rio Olympic bid team was that the project would have a guaranted full state funding.

None of the 12 proposed World Cup stadia currently meet FIFA's criteria. The Maracana in Rio, which will stage the final and then the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics, will be closed from next year for modernisation work while most of the rest will be practically rebuilt. Two new grounds will be built in Recife and Natal.

Municipal venues

Of the 12 stadia, only three belong to clubs: Morumbi, home of champions Sao Paulo, and two in the southeast of Brazil, Atletico Paranaense's Arena da Baixada in Curitiba, and Internacional's Beira Rio in Porto Alegre. The remainder are municpally owned.

Funding levels will depend on factors like urbanisation plans in the areas surrounding the grounds and promotion of sustainable technology.

The original plan had been for the state to find infrastructure and private enterprise to look after the stadia in Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Cuiaba, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Manaus, Natal, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Sao Paulo. But that was before the global recession began to make itself felt.

Keywords · 2014 World Cup · 2016 Olympic Games · Rio de Janeiro · FIFA · IOC · President Lula

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