FIFA president Blatter criticizes Brazilian authorities over lack of worker safety

Sepp Blatter remains upbeat that Brazil will produce a memorable World Cup tournament.

ARND WIEGMANN/Action Images / Reuters

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica — FIFA President Sepp Blatter says the World Cup will be ”well done,” but he criticized Brazilian authorities for starting late on stadium projects and for not providing enough worker safety.

Blatter spoke on Thursday in the Costa Rican capital, where he was attending the Under-17 Women’s World Cup.

Three World Cup stadiums are still being built in the southern cities of Sao Paulo and Curitiba, and the western city of Cuiaba.

A fourth stadium, already opened in Porto Alegre, has been slowed in a dispute about how to pay for temporary facilities for television, hospitality and security.

The World Cup opens in 10 weeks.

Two other stadiums remain under construction for Brazil’s first World Cup since 1950, one in the wetlands city of Cuiaba and another in the southern Brazilian city of Curitiba. Infrastructure work across Brazil remains far from completed, but authorities insist the country will be ready for soccer’s showcase event.

Seven workers have died in accidents at construction sites of World Cup venues so far.

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Fabio Hamilton da Cruz, 23, died after falling from about 26 feet while working on the temporary structures on Saturday in Sao Paulo. Authorities said an initial probe showed he didn’t connect himself to a safety cable at the time of the accident. According to witness accounts, the worker said he only had a "quick thing" to finish at the site.

Fast Engenharia said the worker had all required safety equipment available to him. According to the UOL website, the labor officials said protective netting could’ve prevented the death even if the worker didn’t use the safety cable.

"Company directors on Tuesday will analyze the technical demands made by (labor officials) and then will make an announcement about the case and its consequences to the construction timetable," Fast Engenharia said in its statement.

FIFA and the local World Cup organizing committee did not immediately answer a request for comment on Monday.