Work halted on Curitiba stadium in latest World Cup setback

image captionFifa inspected the progress made on the stadium in August

Work on a Brazilian football stadium which is being refurbished for the 2014 World Cup has been suspended after a judge ruled there were safety concerns.

The Arena da Baixada stadium in the city of Curitiba is due to stage four matches during the World Cup. Refurbishment work on the stadium is already lagging behind schedule.

Judge Lorena Colnago said workers were at serious risk of accidents.

She ordered a new inspection be carried out before work could resume.

"Countless infractions have been committed, in various stages of the building process," the judge from Brazil's labour tribunal said.

She said workers were in danger of "being buried, run over and of collision, falling from heights and being hit by construction material, among other serious risks".

'No plan B'

The news comes a week after an investigation revealed that construction workers employed on another World Cup-related project faced what were termed "slave-like" conditions.

Investigators said that more than 100 workers employed to expand Sao Paulo's international airport were living in unsuitable accommodation near the building site.

In August, Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo said he was worried about delays at five stadiums still being built for next year's football World Cup.

Arena de Baixada, which is owned by football club Atletico Paranaense, was among the five.

Plans for its refurbishment have already been scaled back. After a visit from Fifa Secretary-General Jerome Valcke, the club said it would now not fit a retractable roof in order to speed the work up.

Mr Valcke said all the stadiums would have to be ready in December and warned he would not tolerate any more delays as there was "no plan B".

The World Cup will be played in 12 stadiums across the country.

The opening match is due to take place at a brand-new venue being built in the outskirts of Sao Paulo on 12 June 2014.

The final is scheduled for 13 July in the country's most famous football stadium, the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.

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