Speed Reads

Show me the money

World Cup audit finds $275 million in alleged graft from a single stadium project


If there was a World Cup for ineptitude at preparing to host a World Cup, Brazil would likely trounce the competition. Some of the vast infrastructure needed to host the event — which kicks off in one month — is far from completion, and cost estimates continue to soar.

Add to Brazil's woes a new audit, analyzed by The Associated Press, which found the cost of building Brasilia's new World Cup stadium had tripled from its original estimate to a staggering $900 million. A primary culprit: $275 million in alleged price-gouging tied to that one stadium alone. And that's despite the audit having only examined three-fourths of the stadium's costs.

The audit is loaded with other wild details — the lead construction firm working on the stadium upped its political donations by 500 percent in the last election — all of which underscores the troubles Brazil has had in preparing to host the Cup. As we saw with the Sochi Olympics, a massive public works project, combined with lax oversight and crammed into a short timetable, can be a perfect recipe for rampant corruption.