RIO DE JANEIRO: The already-problematic timescale for the World Cup stadium in Manaus has been cast into further uncertainty after a Brazilian court ordered a partial stop to construction work.

This followed the death of a 22-year-old labourer, Marcleudo de Melo Ferreira, who fell 35ft from the stadium’s roof on Saturday.

The public prosecutor’s office sought a court order that all work “in all areas involving altitude” be halted pending investigations into safety precautions and procedures.

A statement from development consortium UGP Copa said: “Around noon on Sunday we were notified of the labor court’s order for a partial stoppage of work. The decision should be applied to activities in high areas, notably the services of mounting the roof and facade of the Arena Amazonia.”

Andrade Gutierrez, the specific construction company, is expected to resume some work imminently.

Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo and deputy Luis Fernandes said, on the eve of the finals draw nine days ago, that Manaus would be “almost ready” by December 31. This is now highly unlikely and it may not even meet the conservative February delivery date.

Ferreira was the fifth construction worker to die in stadiums being built to host the World Cup in 12 cities and the first or two deaths in Manaus on Saturday. A worker in a nearby conference centre, Jose Antonio da Silva Nascimento, died later the same day, apparently of a heart attack.

Two men died in Sao Paulo on November 27 after a crane collapsed in the arena that is to host the Opening Game on June 12.

Manaus is scheduled to host four World Cup games in June, including high-profile encounters involving England, Italy, the United States and Portugal.