RIO DE JANEIRO: Another World Cup stadium worker has been killed, days after FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke laid into Brazil again for leaving everything so late writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The eighth construction death in the run-up to the finals which open next month was 28-year-old Muhammad Ali Maciel Afonso who was apparently electrocuted at the Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba.
A statement from the Ministry of Labour and Employment said that not only was he not wearing safety equipment for working on wiring but he had not been given essential training for the work he was undertaking.
Jose Almeida, the Ministry’s local supervisor in the state of Mato Grosso, said: “From what we saw he was not wearing appropriate gloves to protect themselves from shocks.
“For this work you need to go through training and have authorization from the contractor in addition to using the correct protective equipment. It also necessary to turn off the power circuit, which does not appear to have happened in this case.”
Emergency medical officials said the victim died at the scene after suffering a cardiac arrest. Relatives said he had been fired for a desk job rather than as an electrician. He left a widow and two sons, aged nine and seven.
Valcke, the world federation’s World Cup overseer, sent a note of condolence via Twitter: “Saddened by the death of worker Muhammad Ali Maciel Afonso at Arena Pantanal today. My thoughts are with his family and colleagues.”
Earlier this week Valcke had complained at an event in Lausanne that FIFA had “experienced a sort of hell” in trying to drive preparations in Brazil.
He said: “Since in Brazil, there are some politicians who are opposed to the World Cup, and we have experienced a sort of hell especially because you have three political levels in Brazil and then elections change everything so we found we were not necessarily discussing things with the same people . . . it was difficult having to repeat ourselves all the time.”
Valcke, who will return to Brazil on May 18, insisted that “it is not the FIFA which organises the World Cup in Brazil but Brazil which organises the World in 12 cities.”
He added: “We are supporting Brazil to ensure it is a success because everything FIFA does depends on the success of the World Cup. If the World is a failure, we have a problem.”
Valcke noted that the last deadline for delivery of the stadia should have been December 31 last year but half the stadia were not ready then and several were still incomplete.
He said: “It’s a bit later than expected but we know how to adapt. If there is one official message out of all this for the World Cup in 2018 it is that hope Russia does not believe it will be sufficient to deliver a stadium on May 15. I hope they respect the deadlines. ”