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Rio stadium will have special section for obese people at 2014 World Cup

Mar 1, 2013, 10:03 AM EDT

Castelaostadium Getty Images

Will one stadium at the 2014 World Cup in Rio de Janiero have a section with double-wide seats for fat people? That was the report in The Sun this morning, and because it’s The Sun, I was skeptical. So I did some looking around, and by godfrey, we have this from Brazil’s official federal government World Cup site

The twelve 2014 World Cup Arenas are designed to offer the highest comfort and convenience to supporters. Accessibility is an important item for inclusion, also a requirement by the Brazilian government and FIFA. The Castelão in Fortaleza is an example of how football may bring about this type of legacy in the country. From the total of 63,903 seats, 1,675 are reserved for obese people, or people with disabilities.

There will be 120 ‘fat seats’ at the stadium, according to the World Cup site (the crane in the photo has nothing to do with this, so stop snickering). The Sun reports that these seats will accommodate people who weigh “up to 40 stone”, which is 560 pounds. Here’s a photo of one of the seats, according to The Sun. Tickets for these seats will cost twice the amount for regular seating, which I think is unfair. The seat price should be the same as a normal seat, because you know the people who use them are going to spend more than enough on food and drink to make up the difference.

Apparently this is all a FIFA mandate.

This number corresponds to 2.4% of the stadium’s capacity, which is more than the minimum requirement of 1% anticipated by the World Cup General Bill and administrative rule No 205 of the Ministry of Sport, that regulates the issue. At the Castelão, 335 seats are reserved for wheel chair users, 1,220 for people with reduced mobility and 120 for obese people.

The Castelão was the first new stadium to be completed for the ’14 World Cup, and also will be used for the 2013 Confederations Cup in June.