New test of World Cup kick-off stadium postponed
RIO DE JANEIRO: A second test event for the stadium hosting the opening match of the World Cup on June 12 has been put back three days to June 1, FIFA said Wednesday.
Organisers decided a new dress rehearsal was needed at Sao Paulo`s Corinthians Arena after its first major test event, a Brazilian league match Sunday, revealed a host of problems.
The still-unfinished stadium has been plagued by budget overruns, construction delays and accidents that have killed three workers.
Instead of a match between home team Corinthians and Cruzeiro on May 29, the stadium will now host another Brazilian league match on June 1, said FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke.
The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) will "re-allocate (a) league match," he wrote on Twitter.
"It (is) vital for us that all facilities will be tested under full match conditions including the temporary seats and associated facilities," he said.
FIFA said in a statement the new event needed to draw more than 50,000 fans and test two extra seating areas that were not yet open at Sunday`s match because they had not received safety clearance from firefighters.
About 36,000 fans attended Sunday`s match, well below the 68,000 expected for World Cup games.
Organisers are still scrambling to get the stadium finished in time for the World Cup opening ceremony and kick-off match between Brazil and Croatia.
Parts of the stadium`s sprawling glass-panelled roof have not been installed, leaving some fans exposed to drenching rain on Sunday.
Problems with elevators and escalators, cell phone communications and lighting outside the stadium also marred the event.
Newspaper O Estado de Sao Paulo said the original date for the second test event would not have given workers enough time to finish installing the extra seating areas, designed to hold a total of 20,000 people.
The seating areas were delayed after a worker fell to his death from one of them on March 21.
The stadium was officially handed over to FIFA on Wednesday, much delayed from an original deadline of December 31.
The remaining 11 World Cup stadiums are all due to be handed over by the end of the week. Work is still not finished at the stadiums in Curitiba, Cuiaba and Porto Alegre.