The Brazilian Football Confederation has announced that Corinthians as yet unbuilt stadium will host the opening match of the 2014 World Cup.
It’s a scandalous and risky decision for a whole number of reasons, not least of which is that no one yet knows anything about the proposed arena.
Local media quoted Corinthians President Andres Sanchez as saying the stadium will have 48,000 seats. But FIFA states that the venue for the tournament’s opening match must hold 65,000 fans.
There’s also no guarantee that the stadium in Itaquera, on São Paulo’s East Side, will be ready in time or that it will meet FIFA’s strict criteria. The area will also need to update transport links, add car parks, and areas to host sponsors.
Experts say it takes around 30 months to build a new stadium from scratch, and that’s from the moment the first diggers move in. More time is needed beforehand to complete environmental impact reports, consult residents and do all the other preparation work.
The CBF urgently needed to make a decision about which stadium São Paulo would use, having dilly-dallied for far too long. In that sense, it’s action at last.
Corinthians, too, can be relieved they are at last getting the stadium they so desperately crave.
But this decision looks like one more capricious move by Teixeira. It’s based on personal friendships (with Sanchez) and vendettas (against São Paulo Futebol Club, owners of the Morumbi).