Fearful several stadiums will not be completed in time for the start of World Cup play in Brazil this week and others having failed safety inspections, FIFA has unveiled “construction rules” it insists will protect players and fans who are convening in such hazardous conditions.
“FIFA will not let anything stand in the way of the 2014 World Cup and this includes half-finished stadiums,” said FIFA President Sepp Blatter. “I can assure all players and spectators that they will be extremely safe in these facilities, provided they comply with our construction rules.”
Blatter said the new rules require all players to wear hard hats during competition and that fans are only allowed to attend matches in 8 of the 12 stadiums being used for World Cup play. Additionally, so-called “free kicks” will now be taxed to help pay for the mysterious budget overruns that have plagued the construction process.
Critics say these measures are not an adequate replacement for the safe and completed facilities Brazil has spent billions of dollars to construct.
“Sure, it is not ideal, but in this world, we sometimes must deal with less-than-ideal situations,” said Blatter. “If people are upset about this year’s matches, wait until the nightmares we’ll face come 2018 in Russia an 2022 in Qatar.”
Added Blatter: “Those may be far worse, but their checks won’t bounce, so consider me satisfied.”
Image by Joel Nielsen