Mozambique : National Stadium Will Not Be Ready Before World Cup

Maputo - Mozambique's new national stadium will not be ready in time to be used for any spin-offs from the football World Cup, due to be held in South Africa in 2010.

According to the assistant director of the construction project, Jose Pereira, speaking to Radio Mozambique, the stadium, in the outer Maputo neighbourhood of Zimpeto, will only be completed in December 2010, five months after the World Cup is over.

The delay in completion, explained Pereira, is due to the delay in starting construction, and cost overruns on the work to level the site.

"When the agreement was signed on 28 March 2008, it was envisaged that work would begin on 28 April", he said. This proved wildly optimistic.

"During this period a series of activities had to be undertaken", said Pereira. "They included peacefully removing people who were growing crops on the site, installing electricity, water and telecommunications systems, and leveling the ground. All this work meant that building did not start until 10 November 2008. The period from March to November was used to establishment the conditions for construction to start".

The levelling work ended up costing 2.5 US million dollars, which was considerably more than expected, forcing changes to the budget, and the signing of an addendum to the agreement with the funding agency, which is the Chinese government.

Nonetheless the project managers continued to insist that the stadium would be ready for the World Cup

The total amount disbursed by China for the stadium has risen to 60 million dollars. When complete, it will be the most modern sports ground in the country, with the capacity to hold 42,000 spectators.

Source: AIM :

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Composite of (CHINA NEWS)and a reproduction of a picture depicting the future World Cup 2010 football stadium is seen on February 6, 2009 at the construction site of the National football stadium in Zimpeto, Maputo. 

The project has employed 273 Chinese and 331 Mozambicans so far, with the figures expected to reach 500 and 1000 respectively by the end of the project. 

The result will be a multi-facility sports park anchored by the 42,000 capacity stadium and is one of several Chinese government funded multi-million dollar projects in Mozambique. The stadium is the biggest sports construction since Mozambique's bloody independence from Portugal in 1975 and 16 years of ruinous civil war. (Photo credit should read Carlos LITULO/AFP/Getty Images)