Switzerland is through to the last 16 of the FIFA World Cup, after defeating Honduras 3 nil on Wednesday. The game was the last of four tournament fixtures played at the Manaus stadium, in Brazil’s Amazon region. Stephen Gibbs reports.
The arena, which cost $300 million dollars to build, has been a source of controversy. For last two weeks, it has also been the spectacular setting for some great football.
As the cheers of delight die down from Switzerland’s third goal against Honduras on Wednesday, a lingering question remained: what was going to happen to this stadium on the edge of the jungle?
It is a $300 million dollar venue, in a city with no major football team. The day after the last match, protesters were complaining about the city’s bad housing. The coordinator insisted the stadium will actually help solve such problems.
Manaus has its social problems, just one mile from the stadium, people are living in poverty.The city authorities say the stadium will draw money to Manaus and ultimately everyone will benefit; opponents argue exactly the opposite. They say it will be a long-term drain on resources.
It’s a dream for all in Manaus, that the beautiful stadium will, in the near future, be used for UFC events, like a World Cup of martial arts. The Amazon arena does look set to become an icon of this city for decades to come.
Depending on what use is made of it, it will either be seen as a symbol of success, or a reminder of failure.