Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Costa Rica’s brand new, $105 million Estadio Nacional was built entirely by the Chinese.It was paid for by a Chinese company, built by Chinese workers, and made with Chinese materials as part of a 2007 agreement.
The stadium — officially a gift from China to the people of Costa Rica — has already hosted exhibitions against soccer giants Argentina, Brazil, and Spain since it opened in March.
And China provided the cash to bring those teams to the tiny Central American nation as well.
So what did they get in return?
The Football Ramble has the details in a story today:
- Costa Rica severed its longstanding economic ties with Taiwan.
- Costa Rica made China its second-biggest trading partner by signing a free trade agreement just two weeks after the stadium opened.
Not everyone is pleased with new-found relationship between the two countries.
Costa Rica didn’t apply its tough labour laws to the Chinese company that built the stadium — so workers worked long hours and one even died in an on-site accident.
But Costa Rica’s soccer team will surely benefit from the world-class stadium and the infusion of cash.
In fact, they’re looking better already — Costa Rica earned a 2-2 draw with mighty Spain at the China-built stadium last night.
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