INTRODUCTION: The rebuilding of the Rosario City soccer stadium in Santa Fe Province, Argentina has been delayed by heavy rains.
INTRODUCTION: The rebuilding of the Rosario City soccer stadium in Santa Fe Province, Argentina has been delayed by heavy rains. There are fears that if the bad weather continues the authorities will not be able to complete the work in time for the World Cup soccer championship which takes place in Argentina next year. Rosario is the country's main port after Buenos Aires and one of five centres where matches will be played.
SYNOPSIS: The deadline date for completion is the 31st of December but officials supervising the work say the weather is creating serious problems. Whenever the weather improves the workforce is out trying to catch up on the time lost. Rebuilding began last November but work has been called off many times because of intense rain and flooding.
However, Argentina's ability to stage the contest has become a matter of national pride, particularly for the military government which took power in a coup last year. At one stage there were doubts the championship would take place in Argentina at all. In the first 12 months of military rule over 1,000 people have died in political violence.
The International Football Federation (FIFA) -- the supervising body for the World Cup -- has expressed doubts whether Argentina could provide all the facilities in time for the play off and whether the matches could be played in a peaceful atmosphere, but after talks with the government FIFA declared the championship will go ahead.
When rebuilt the Rosario stadium will seat over 50,000 spectators. Although the final will be held in Buenos Aires many of the matches will be played at Rosario. A new pitch is being laid and drainage works installed. And a special piping system for watering the pitch is under construction.
The stadium will also have facilities for 600 journalists and a special colour television link to a central headquarters in Buenos Aires for colour television transmission to the outside world. Argentines will have to watch the matches in black and white. The government says that despite the problems faced at Rosario and elsewhere, it's confident all will be ready in time for the first match.