Renovation work on Sao Paulo airport has been halted over claims the project went ahead without a bidding process

A Brazilian judge has stopped renovation work on the country’s largest airport, Guarulhos in Sao Paolo, ahead of the 2014 World Cup.

The federal judge issued an injunction to halt construction because the project went ahead without a bidding process.

In a statement, Judge Louise Vilela Filgueiras Borer said the state airport authority Infraero had awarded the contract to Delta Constructions illegally.

She disputed the agency’s claim that the works were an urgent project needed to avoid travel chaos at the World Cup, calling it a “made-up urgency” concocted to avoid the bidding process.

Judge Borer added that Brazil has long been afflicted by air transportation problems, so the need to resolve them is nothing new.     

The airport authority may appeal the ruling to try to get work reinstated.

Ricardo Teixeira, president of the Brazilian football confederation, has been quoted as saying that the “three major problems that Brazil has for the 2014 World Cup are airports, airports and airports”.

The terminal under construction at Guarulhos had been designed to double the airport’s capacity. Investment in the upgrade totals an estimated 1.2bn reais (£440m).