The True Cost of the World Cup

In the run-up to this summer’s FIFA World Cup there has been plenty of commentary on the billions spent preparing 13 stadia for the tournament. With some being constructed from the ground up and others undergoing a major face lift the price tag for readying the thirteen stadiums is going to be significant, and there is already talk of how unwise the investments may turn out to be in the future, even though the world economy and in particular the gambling companies will make millions from the world cup! Websites like M88 Indonesia will generate thousands of dollars.

Beisdes the bean counting there is also another cost to the stadium building program across Brazil. As the focus on the completion of the venues becomes more intense with the tournament start date drawing closer the pressure to complete construction becomes more intense.

It appears as though Health & Safety may not be all it could be in Brazil. Sadly, Fabio Hamilton da Cruz fell about 8 metres while installing temporary seating and was killed by the fall. The worker was reported to be wearing all the appropriate safety equipment but was sadly pronounced dead just before entering surgery at a near by emergency trauma centre. Official accounts of the accident appear to be somewhat contradictory with the fire service detailing a 15 metre fall.

The da Cruz accident was not an isolated incident; Fabio was the seventh worker to lose his life on the countrywide construction project. Construction at the Sao Paulo Itaquerao stadium is way behind schedule, even without the delays caused by the collapse of a crane lifting a 500 tonne piece of fabrication into place that caused the deaths of two other construction workers.

Three workers have died in the Arena de Amazonia in Manaus, and another worker died constructing the stadium in Brasilia, the capital city.

FIFA have been predictably saddened, their Twitter feed stated they were “deeply saddened by the tragic loss of a worker”. A following statement went on to say “For FIFA, the LOC and the Brazilian authorities safety is paramount”. Given the number of fatalities as well as the failure to complete construction projects on time, it seems as though FIFA have not been asking the right questions of Brazilian authorities about the safety standards used to protect workers on these massive construction projects.