RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazilian police have arrested a presidential aide and two ex-governors as part of an investigation into the 2014 World Cup’s most expensive stadium in the capital, Brasilia.
The development added to the pressure on President Michel Temer as the long-running focus of the corruption scandal in public life turned back on to the twin sporting stagings of the World Cup and Olympic Games.
Brasilia, with a capacity of 72,800, staged matches in both events.
A police statement said that Tadeu Filippelli, a special adviser in Temer’s Cabinet, and former Federal District governors José Roberto Arruda and Agnelo Queiroz had been detained.
Renovation of the Brasilia stadium for the 2014 World Cup cost $459.38m which, according to prosecutors and police, included significant excessive charges. This was then considered the second-most expensive football ground in the world after the reconstruction of Wembley.
Temer , who came to power after the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff, is facing increasing demands for his own resignation after the disclosure of a recorded conversation in which he appears to condone the payment of hush money to a jailed lawmaker in a separate corruption probe.
Suspicions that many of the 12 stadiums built or renovated for the 2014 World Cup were overpriced led to street protests before and during the tournament.
Executives of construction group Odebrecht, in a plea bargain deal made public last month, stated that builders and politicians had sought to capitalise personally on fix contracts for World Cup arenas in at least six cities.
The evidence provided by Odebrecht corroborated the testimony of three executives of rival construction conglomerate Andrade Gutierrez, prosecutors said in a statement.