RIO DE JANEIRO - Two underground oil
pipes are threatening the city of Sao Paulo's plan to build a
new stadium to host the opening match of the 2014 World Cup.
The pipes run under the site for the stadium on which
construction was scheduled to start in April, little more than
three years before the start of the tournament.
Transpetro, a subsidiary of the Brazilian state-run oil
company Petrobras, said on Friday it was holding talks with
Brazilian club Corinthians, whose planned Itaquerao stadium will
be Sao Paulo's venue, to find a solution.
"Transpetro and the representatives of Corinthians are
holding meetings with the aim of establishing alternatives which
will make it viable to redirect the tubes in time to allow the
building of the stadium," said Transpetro in a statement sent to
"At the moment, the main choice being studied is the
building of a diversion of the tubes to a nearby area. The
discussions have been focused on the technical aspects and have
not contemplated matters relating to the cost of the work."
Transpetro did not comment on whether the work could be
completed by April 1, when work is expected to start on the
stadium. Corinthians were not available for comment.
The oil pipes are the latest complication to hit the World
Cup preparations of Latin America's biggest city.
The city initially planned to use the Morumbi stadium, owned
by Sao Paulo football club, until the arena was barred by FIFA
and local organisers last year over a lack of financial
guarantees for the planned rebuilding.
Corinthians had planned to build their new stadium with a
capacity of 48,000, while FIFA require a minimum of 65,000 for
the opening match which Sao Paulo is hoping to host.
Negotiations are taking place over who will pay for the
building of the extra 17,000 seats.
Last Friday, Brazilian politicians - including President
Dilma Rousseff - threw their weight behind Sao Paulo for the
honour of staging the opening match.
Mayor Gilberto Kassab said the city would "without question"
host the opening match.
They were rebuffed on Thursday by FIFA president Sepp
Blatter who said sporting authorities would decide
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