World Cup 2014: Due to Unfinished Stadium, Only 40,000 Sports Fans Could Attend the Final Test Match in Brazil’s Corinthians Arena to Test Venue’s Readiness

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By Vittorio Hernandez | June 3, 2014 8:57 AM EST

Delays continue to hound Brazil just over a week before the first game is held on June 12, particularly the construction of football stadiums where the matches would be held.

One of them is the Corinthians Arena where the test match between the stadium owners Corinthians and the Rio side Botafogo would be held on Sunday.

However, the stadium is only 75 per cent ready, prompting firefighting authorities to not allow the host club to open one seating area, which means only about 5,000 sports fans would be permitted into another unfinished section.

That would mean the test match on Sunday would fail to meet the order from FUFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke "that all facilities will be tested under full match conditions including the temporary seats & associated facilities."

About 65,000 soccer fans are expected on the opening day match on June 12 in Sau Paulo with host and five-time champions Brazil against Croatia.

The delays were due to the death of three construction workers, including one who fell from an unfinished seating area on March 21 at the Itaquerao stadium, causing the labor ministry to order a stop to the construction and demand safety improvements.

On May 18, a first test game between the Corinthians and Figueirense was held at Itaquerao, but the 40,000 who attended the match encountered broken lifts, problems with exterior lighting, poor mobile phone connection and a storm that had some of the spectators move to higher seats due to the unfinished roof glass panels that drenched some of the fans.

Brazil handed over Itaquerao to FIFA in May 21, almost five months beyond its original deadline on Dec 31, 2013 for all the 12 stadiums. Besides the delay, costs for the stadiums went by 14 to 18 per cent beyond its original budget and shoot up between 920 million  and 950 million reais.

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