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High cost, corruption claims mar Brazil World Cup

High cost, corruption claims mar Brazil World Cup

WORLD CUP:In this June 17 file photo, protestors are reflected on the glass of a building, left, as they march in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In a poll last year, more than three-fourths of Brazilians said they’re certain corruption has infused the World Cup. Their anger fueled widespread and often violent anti-government protests last June that sent more than 1 million Brazilians into the street during FIFA’s Confederations Cup soccer tournament, the warm-up event to the World Cup. Photo: Associated Press/Felipe Dana

BRADLEY BROOKS, Associated Press

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — The cost of building the soccer stadium in Brazil’s capital for next month’s World Cup has nearly tripled to $900 million in public funds, and government auditors allege that’s largely due to fraudulent billing.

It’s now the world’s second-most expensive soccer arena, and Brasilia doesn’t even have a major professional team. Critics call it the poster child for out-of-control spending and mismanagement, or worse.

An Associated Press analysis of data from Brazil’s top electoral court shows skyrocketing campaign contributions by companies involved in the most World Cup projects — findings that will add to deep suspicions among Brazilians that preparations for soccer’s premier event have been tainted by corruption.

Anger over perceived corruption already helped fuel huge protests last year, and there are fears more unrest could mar the Cup.

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