Fears grow over Porto Alegre stadium
The mayor of Porto Alegre in Brazil has revealed his city may be forced to pull out of hosting matches at this year's World Cup due to a lack of temporary structures at its stadium.
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Jose Fortunati admitted the Estadio Beira-Rio is not yet ready to host games for this summer's tournament in an interview with a local radio station.
According to The Associated Press, the local government has already said it will not spend public money on such projects, which are a responsibility of the stadium owner.
Internacional, the club in charge of the ground, said recently they would not alone pay for the temporary structures -- facilities that are used for the media, sponsors and technical teams, and are a FIFA requirement.
As a result, Fortunati has demanded a bill that will exempt companies investing in the structures from paying tax, which must be approved by Rio Grande do Sul lawmakers.
And the mayor believes it is the only way for the city to raise much-needed funding for the stadium, or they may risk losing out on the World Cup altogether.
“This is the point which matters in terms of holding the World Cup in Porto Alegre,” he told Radio Gaucha on Monday. “If the bill is not voted, we will not have the World Cup in Porto Alegre.
“This is because we will not have the resources to do it. We have no plan B. The only alternative is this.”
Porto Alegre, located in the south of Brazil, is scheduled to play host to four group matches and a second-round clash.
The Estadio Beira-Rio was one of six stadiums that were not ready by the end of 2013 -- as requested by FIFA -- while it remains one of the three grounds yet to be finished.