SAO PAULO: AndrĂ©s Sanchez, former president of Corinthians, has denied that pressure of time had been a factor in the deaths of two construction workers on the stadium which will host the Opening Match of next year’s World Cup writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Sanchez, a likely contender later next year for president of the Brazilian football confederation, has been co-ordinating work on the Itaquero stadium which will be a new home for Corinthians after the World Cup finals.

FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke indicated earlier this month that he expeccted the stadium to be delivered on April 14 and 15 after the setback and temporary halt in work after two men died when a crane collapsed as it was lifting a section of roofing into place.

Sanchez said that no extra pressure would be imposed on workers even thought the World Cup finals were now only six months away.

He said: “I do not want to kill anyone to deliver a stadium. The maximum hours of work will be 10 hours per day which represents a basic shift of eight hours plus two hours’ possible overtime at the most.

“What I do not want is any more unfair speculation about the accident. There is no evidence of any influence of pressure from the government or from FIFA. Here we respect labour legislation. So here for example, unlike other places, there has been no threat to strike.”

Work has resumed on the stadium after a short halt. Some 1,350 workers are employed on the project.

In the group stage the stadium will host the Opening Match between Brazil and Croatia followed by three other matches: Holland v Chile, Uruguay v England and South Korea v Belgium.

The stadium will host one game in the second round and one of the two semi-finals.

A report by KPMG has reported that the World Cup preparations programme means that Brazil will boast 10 of the 20 most expensive stadia in the world, once finished.

KPMG reported that the most expensive stadium in the world remained Wembley followed by Brazil’s new Estadio Nacional/Mane Garrincha. The Itaquero is estimated at the 12th most expensive.