Just as progress on Brazil’s 2014 stadiums gained pace in recent months, new problems seem to be arising as recurring strikes delay the construction of Brazil’s playing venues.

After earlier this year strikes broke out at the working sites of Maracaña and Brasilia’s Estádio Nacional, last week it was the turn of Arena Pernambuco in Recife and Estádio Fonte Nova in Salvador to see workers refuse the pay offers of their employers.

The strikes at Arena Pernambuco were quickly deemed illegal by a local court on Thursday as a judge ruled the pay offers to be fair, but the situation at Estádio Fonte Nova is still a concern. It are also these two stadiums that have been giving most headaches in the past, and may get stripped of their status as a playing venue at the 2013 Confederations Cup.

The strikes came on the back of a visit of FIFA’s General Secretary Jérôme Valcke to the country, and who after having been shown around on the construction sites, reported back positively about the progress both cities were making.

However, at the same time Sepp Blatter proved to be more skeptical as he remarked that Russia seems already to have made more progress on the 2018 tournament than Brazil at the version that is played four years earlier.

The FIFA President is however infamous for making bold statements, and if history gives any guidance – with for example South Africa, Poland and Ukraine all having been under criticism at one point of their candidacy – there is little to suggest that things will not turn out fine for Brazil.

The situation will remain under strong scrutiny of FIFA though, in what the governing body has dubbed an essential year for the country. And even though the World Cup tournament still seems to be far away with more than two years to go, Brazil will soon find itself full in the spotlights with the 2013 Confederations Cup in what will be a first real test.


Photo via @Pitacodogringo