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»April 2013: ex-President Lula helps Corinthians to finish stadium.
The information was published by Veja magazine, and reproduced here.
According to the magazine, ex-President Lula asked President Dilma to convince state owned bank Caixa Economica Federal to loan the money that Corinthians needs to finish the stadium.
The current lender is Banco do Brasil; this bank is also state owned, but with public shares. The bank, which must respond to shareholders, is not accepting the collaterals offered by Corinthians.
This episode tells a lot about the unprofessional way that the World Cup Brazil is being organized.
Letīs go back in time to recall what is happening.
Ex-President Lula is an ardorous fan of football (and Corinthians in particular); bringing the Cup to Brazil was, above all, a dream of Lula's.
When Sao Paulo was confirmed as one of the host cities, the natural candidate to be the stadium was Morumbi, the largest in the city, owned by Sao Paulo FC.
Sao Paulo FC, however, analysed the costs and gains involved, and concluded that it was not to their interest to invest money in Morumbi to bring it up to FIFA's standards; Morumbi was out of the Cup.
Then, Lula, at once, saved FIFA and Corinthians. He promised his close friends in Corinthians that the team would find the necessary funds to build a new stadium, the Arena Itaquera.
This stadium would be built from scratch, in the distant outskirts of the city, without the necessary deep pre-analysys regarding costs and returns.
After the works started, few investors (particularly the private banks) were willing to put money on it. Lula forgot that, despite his personal willings, the law imposes restrictions to official banks to lend money to private borrowers.
The bank that Lula is now resorting to, Caixa Economica, is owned by the Government, but compete for customers; so, the law allows Caixa to run the risks associated with a loan to Corinthians.
But should it? No private bank will do it. If Corinthians gets the money, it will be just because an ex-President wants so.
»March 2013: Sao Paulo stadium may not be ready for World Cup.
The owner and the builder of Arena Corinthians Itaquera are having troubles to obtain fundings to finish the works in the stadium.
Because the stadium is privately owned, the banks demand stronger collaterals to approve loans.
The President of Corinthians said that, if fundings are not available, the stadium would not be ready for the World Cup.