Soccer stadium will be destroyed, rebuilt

November 27, 2007

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil -- The soccer stadium where seven people died after the stands collapsed will be destroyed and a new one will be built in its place.

At least 40 others were injured Sunday night in Salvador, a coastal city of Bahia state. The accident was the worst in Brazilian soccer history and raised questions about the country's readiness to host the 2014 World Cup.

Gov. Jacques Wagner said Tuesday the Fonte Nova stadium will be imploded. He did not give a timetable for the demolition, but the new stadium is expected to be completed by 2014.

"We already have a project under way that not only includes a stadium but also a shopping center and parking lot," Wagner said.

Victims fell about 50 feet through a hole that opened in the concrete stands as fans stormed the field to celebrate a scoreless tie that promoted the Bahia team to the second division.

In a report issued Nov. 1, architects flagged the stadium as being in the worst condition of 29 major Brazilian soccer stadiums surveyed ahead of the World Cup.

Brazil had not planned to play any World Cup games in Fonte Nova, and soccer's governing body said Monday the collapse should not affect Brazil's hosting of the tournament.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press