Industry News

Salvador’s World Cup stadium at centre of corruption investigation

The Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador’s stadium for Brazil’s 2014 Fifa World Cup, has become the focus of a corruption probe.

Brazilian federal police believe the stadium in the capital city of state of Bahia was overpriced by more than $130m (€104.8m), with these funds diverted to support political campaigns.

Former Bahia Governor Jaques Wagner, a member of Brazil’s Workers’ Party, is one of the targets of the investigation and is accused of receiving around $25m in illegal funds.

A local court has rejected the federal police’s arrest request, while Wagner’s attorney, Pablo Domingues, told the Associated Press news agency that police have invented the narrative of the alleged crime and the amount of money talked of in the probe.

The 48,000-seat Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova was built on the site of the old Fonte Nova Stadium and cost a reported $250m to develop. It hosted six games during national team football competition the World Cup.

Fonte Nova’s private administrators have said they are awaiting official notification about the investigation, dubbed Operation Red Card.

Police claim public officials favoured construction companies OAS and Odebrecht in the tender for the demolition and reconstruction of Fonte Nova Stadium.

Image: Faquini Produção Fotográfica; Fotógrafo David Campbell