Fifa setback as World Cup test event cancelled
Sao Paulo, May 22, 2014
Corinthians and Fifa have cancelled a test event at the stadium that will host the World Cup's opening match and are now scrambling to arrange another game at the venue.
Corinthians were scheduled to play Cruzeiro at the Corinthians arena on May 29, but the match was cancelled amid fears that the 1600 local time kickoff could provoke traffic chaos in South America's biggest and often hugely congested city.
That match has been rescheduled for the day before and moved to a different venue, Portuguesa's Caninde Stadium.
Fifa now say they will try to reschedule a game for the 68,000 capacity Corinthians arena on June 1.
Corinthians are scheduled to play an away match against Botafogo in Rio that day, but the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) could swap the fixture to make them the home side.
"The second test event ahead of opening World Cup match will be staged at Arena de Sao Paulo (Corinthians arena) on June 1," Fifa's secretary general Jerome Valcke said on Twitter. "CBF to re-allocate League match."
He added: "It vital for us that all facilities will be tested under full match conditions including the temporary seats and associated facilities."
The opening match of the World Cup between Brazil and Croatia is due to be held at the stadium on June 12.
Corinthians played Figueirense in the first official match there last Sunday, but only 36,000 fans watched the game and FIFA is worried some areas of the ground have not been subject to thorough tests.
"Given the attention drawn from the opening match of the Fifa World Cup, it is vital for the organisers that all facilities will be tested under full match conditions, including the use of temporary seats and associated facilities," Fifa said in a statement.
"These additional installations were not in place when the first test match took place on May 19." - Reuters