02 Jul 2013 | by Fabíola Ortiz | Civil Society - Original Feature
More than two years after the beginning of renovation works, the Maracana sports complex in Rio de Janeiro is mired in controversy. A huge amount of public money – nearly 500 million USD – has been invested to upgrade the legendary football stadium that will host the final game of the 2014 World Cup.
The project however sacrifices the sports complex with Olympic pool and the athletics track to make space for a shopping center and a parking area. The dream to compete in the 2016 Olympics Games for a lot of Brazilian athletes might also vanish.
“The athletics stadium is closed since the 9th of January without any previous proper planning from the government. Unfortunately the preparation for 2016 has been ruined”, said Edneida Freire, a coach of Rio 2016 social project for new talents.
Hundreds of demonstrators went on the streets on Sunday June 30, when Maracana was hosting the final game of the Confederations Cup, to protest against the imminent demolition.