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Brazil World Cup Soccer Crisis Deepens With Eighth Worker Death

Brazil’s troubled World Cup staging efforts suffered another setback today following the electrocution death of a worker at one of the stadiums still under construction.

Mohammed Ali, 32, was killed while working in the Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba, said Renata Martins, a spokeswoman for the state of Mato Grosso, where the venue is located.

Ali’s death is the eighth construction related fatality at Brazil’s 12 World Cup venues and comes 35 days before the tournament opens on June 12 in Sao Paulo’s Corinthians Arena, another facility where work remains. The Cuiaba stadium, which will host four games starting with Chile playing Australia on June 13, is still missing 5,000 seats.

In April, work at the Corinthians Arena was suspended after a worker installing temporary seating fell to his death. His was the third fatality at the Sao Paulo stadium. Six Brazilian stadiums missed a December deadline for completion.

Ali’s death is the sixth nationwide since November when two men were crushed following a crane collapse in Sao Paulo.

Preparations for sport’s most-watched event have embarrassed South America’s biggest country which is spending about $11 billion to prepare. As well as stadiums, work on airport and road improvements have been slow to get done.

Earlier this week Jerome Valcke, general secretary of soccer governing body FIFA, said his organization had “been through hell” trying to host the event in Brazil.

“We’re supporting Brazil to ensure that it’s a success because the whole of FIFA is based around the success of the World Cup,” Valcke said at sports conference in Lausanne, Switzerland. “If the World Cup is a failure then we, FIFA, are in trouble.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Tariq Panja in Rio de Janeiro at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at Jay Beberman

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