Renovation of Rio’s World Cup and Olympic stadium stained by corruption allegations

The Maracana. Photo: Ben Sutherland


By Mads A. Wickstrøm
Renewal of the Maracana ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Rio de Janeiro was overbilled by millions of dollars, government watchdog says.

Recent documents obtained by Brazilian Globo News reveal that the cost of renovating the Maracana football stadium in Rio de Janeiro ahead of the 2014 World Cup were more than double the initial cost. As such, the documents show that the refurbishment of the stadium cost about $500 million, writes Australian news site

According to Globo, contractors billed services, such as the hiring of cranes, twice. Furthermore, contractors charged up to three times the market price for construction materials. Rio de Janeiro’s auditing court estimates that overbilling by the contractors exceeded 200 million reais (approximately $90 million).

On March 10, prosecutors in Rio de Janeiro demanded that contractors Andrade Gutierrez, Delta Engenharia, and Odebrect repay over 200 million reais. Odebrecht told French news agency, AFP that the company is committed to collaborate with the authorities, according to

A large number of Rio’s Olympic venues have been unused and left deteriorating since the 2016 Summer Olympics. The Maracana was reopened on March 9 after disputes over unpaid electric bills and months of neglecting by owners and authorities.

Corruption scandal surrounding Rio subway line

Former Undersecretary of Transportation for the State Government of Rio de Janeiro, Luiz Carlos Velloso, and Heitor Lopes de Souza, a director for subway operator Riotrilhos are targeted by a Federal investigation. Velloso and de Souza have been arrested due to corruption allegations surrounding the new metro line built for the 2016 Summer Olympics, Brazillian police announced today. Both individuals will be charged with taking bribes and money laundering tied to contracts for the subway line, writes Inside the Games


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