RIO DE JANEIRO: Work has been halted on the Arena da Baixaba in Curitiba, one of the stadia due to host matches at next year’s World Cup finals in Brazil writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

The order was taken by the Ministry of Work because of a lack of safety equipment for construction workers. Host club Atletico Paranaense could be fined for each day work is suspended.

The stadium is scheduled to be finished only by the end of December without the retractable roof in the original plans. The end of the year is the last possible deadline set by world federation FIFA.

An independent analysis has assessed the stadium at three-quarters complete. However the Ministry said that six security failings had been pointed out so it had been necessary to halt work altogether for safety’s sake.

An appeal by the constriction consortium had been rejected by local Judge Lorena Colnago who has said a new inspection would be needed before work could resume.

The latest blow to progress in the race against time followed a recent investigation which reported how construction workers on another World Cup-related project faced “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.