Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Protesters disrupt FIFA visit

09 October 2013, 09:13

Sao Paulo - A group of about 50 protesters vandalised part of the construction site of a Soccer World Cup stadium and chanted anti-FIFA slogans during an inspection by organisers in Brazil on Tuesday.

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke and other officials were met by jeering protesters when they arrived at the construction site of the Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba, a city in Brazil's central wetlands.

The demonstrators, who were complaining about the cost of next year's World Cup and demanding improvements for local citizens, managed to gain entry to the venue and painted messages that called for "Less World Cup, more health and education."

The protesters, mostly local teachers, carried banners reading "FIFA go home" and chanted slogans from the stadium pitch - while FIFA and government officials continued their inspection tour from the stands. With bulldozers in the background, the demonstrators tried to disrupt the visit by blowing whistles and playing drums and other instruments.

"People have the right to protest, but they should respect other people, like the construction workers in the stadium," Valcke said. "They have the right to protest, but it should be peaceful."

Brazil's Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo and former Brazil stars Ronaldo and Bebeto were among those to witness the protest.

The incident came a day after a series of violent demonstrations in some of Brazil's largest cities, including one by teachers seeking better pay in Rio de Janeiro. The Confederations Cup earlier this year was marked by a series of violent protests and more are expected during the World Cup.

Because of the demonstrators in Cuiaba, Valcke had to make the symbolic handover of tickets to workers at a different part of the site. The presentation was expected to take place at a stage set up near where the protesters were located, so it was moved to a room inside the stadium.

The venue in Cuiaba is one of six that needs to be completed by the December deadline established by FIFA, which arrived in the country on Monday to continue its inspection of the 12 World Cup venues. Valcke began his trip in the southern city of Porto Alegre. The visit will end after a board meeting of the local organizing committee on Thursday in Rio de Janeiro.

The secretary general said part of the goal of his visit to Brazil is to "put some pressure, to show that we are following the project and we are not just sitting in Zurich and have no interest."

Football's governing body made it clear that for the World Cup it will not accept the same types of delays that plagued stadium construction before the Confederations Cup this year, when only two of the six stadiums were delivered by the original deadline.

Valcke reiterated that, with tickets sales already under way, the World Cup must be staged in all 12 cities, no matter what. He said he was tired of people asking whether there could be changes because of the construction delays.

"There is no way that one city will be off the list," Valcke said. "There will be 12 host cities and the match schedule will be respected and will be the one we will enforce for the World Cup 2014."

He added on Twitter: "For last time. The Brazil #WorldCup WILL be played in 12 host cities, according to match schedule announced Oct 2011."

Recent setbacks in construction of the six remaining stadiums have raised concern about whether Brazil will be able to make the World Cup deadline.

In Cuiaba, local officials were recently forced to cancel the bidding process for the venue's seats after public prosecutors alleged they were overpriced, prompting a rush to find a new supplier. The new bidding process is not expected to take place until Oct. 22, but local organizers said they want the new seats delivered by December 20, just days before the FIFA deadline.

Valcke said local government officials had made a "full commitment" to have the stadium ready in time.

"All deadlines will be met," Valcke said on Twitter. "Arena Pantanal delivered with seats by end December."

In the southern city of Curitiba, a Brazilian labor judge on Tuesday reversed a ruling that had halted construction at the Arena da Baixada for nearly a week because of workers' safety concerns. Work resumed but a new inspection was scheduled for the end of the week to make sure all of the safety measures promised by constructors were in place.

Construction in part of the Cuiaba stadium was also temporarily suspended recently because of workers' safety concerns.

The Arena da Baixada was less than 80 percent completed by the end of August, the lowest rate among the venues still being built. The Arena Pantanal was 85 percent ready.

The venues with the most advanced work were in Natal and in Sao Paulo, home of the World Cup opener on June 12.

- AP


Athlete collapses, dies in Machakos

26 October 2016, 10:15

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
S Mbinya
What to do after breakup

Your life does not end after breakup. Here are tips to move on: Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
Rare gift for President Uhuru Ken...

Young Jubilee supporters have a rare surprise gift for the President. Read more...

Submitted by
George Vodongo
Illegal milk nabbed in Mombasa wa...

Milk powder is considered a sensitive commodity under the EAC Common External Tariff (CET) and attracts an import duty at a rate of 60 per cent. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
Athlete collapses, dies in Machak...

His coach blamed his untimely death on the supplements the athletes are given. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
Popular radio presenter found dea...

Grace Makosewe was working for Capital FM before moving to Urban Radio in Kisumu. Read more...

Submitted by
Ben Wangui
Four wards to elect new MCAs in b...

This follows the death of former office holders between April and August this year. Read more...