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Construction on international sports venues is ripe for corruption

Poor planning, complex contracting, a lack of accountability and high levels of collusion to blame.

February 17, 2021 |

Courtesy Pixabay

The construction of international sports venues creates an environment that is perfectly suited for corruption, according to a new study published by Engineers Against Poverty.

Projects for big events such as the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup are rife with poor planning, complex contracting, a lack of accountability, and high levels of collusion, the study says. Big sporting events often require rapid construction of venues and surrounding infrastructure, leading to corruption and resulting in huge cost overruns.

A remedy consists of construction firms and owners implementing new tools for transparency, the report says. These include a transparent tracking system that would help identify red flags and allow the public to see how money is spent.

Recent examples of huge cost overruns include the 2010 South African World Cup that was 1,709% above initial estimates, and the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, where stadium construction costs were 450% above predictions.

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