The collapse of a crane led to fatalies and major damage in Sao Paulo. (Getty Images)

(WFI) FIFA says it is too early to evaluate the damage to Sao Paulo’s World Cup stadium caused by a crane collapse that killed two people. With FIFA’s deadline for completion of all host stadiums looming, the true scale of work needed to deliver the venues will be known next week.

Two construction workers were killed yesterday when the crane collapsed at the Itaquerao Stadium, site of the 68,000-seat venue set to stage the 2014 World Cup opener next June.

“It is too premature to make any detailed assessment on the situation of the Corinthians arena as we are still awaiting the technical report to be able to evaluate the scale of the damage,” a FIFA spokesperson told INSIDER.

“We will be able to provide an update earliest next week following the meeting of the FIFA Organising Committee of the FIFA World Cup.”

A joint meeting of the LOC Board and FIFA’s organising committee for Brazil 2014 takes place in Costa do Sauipe on Dec. 3.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter and secretary general Jerome Valcke, who is overseeing Brazil’s tournament preparations, will get a clearer picture of the status of the Sao Paulo project.

Six World Cup venues were brought into service for the Confederations Cup in June, but 2014 organisers face an uphill battle to get the remaining six ready by the Dec. 31 deadline set by FIFA earlier this year.

The FIFA spokesperson said FIFA leaders would receive “preliminary updates on the operations of the 2014 FIFA World Cup for all operational and infrastructural areas”.
Following these assessments and presentations, FIFA will provide its verdict on preparations at the Dec. 3 media briefing.

FIFA said that “further inspections and assessments will occur in December [following the World Cup draw], and in January to assess the stadiums, along with the months leading up to the FIFA World Cup.”

That this ongoing monitoring process is taking place into the early part of next year, with test events due in February and March, suggests that FIFA has conceded defeat in its attempts to get Brazil to deliver the host stadia by the end-of-year deadline.

By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson

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