A test match will not be staged in the stadium that will host the opening match of the 2014 World Cup before the tournament officially kicks off on June 12, because of building work being carried out in the arena.
The Arena Corinthians was built to hold 48,000 and another 20,000 temporary seats are being added for the World Cup.
But with work in and around the ground still ongoing, 18,000 seats will be left empty for the test event featuring Corinthians and Figueirense on either May 17 or 18.
Nadia Campeao, Sao Paulo’s deputy mayor, said that the crowd (for the test match) would be 50,000 people under an agreement between Corinthians and LOC (Local Organising Committee) and FIFA.
While FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke denied on Twitter Tuesday that the first official test on 17 or 18 May would take place at Arena de Sao Paulo with full capacity.
When querying the capacity for the test event, he admitted there would not be a full house and highlighted that South Africa also staged events before the 2010 tournament to reduce crowds.
The Arena Corinthians will stage the opening Cup match between hosts Brazil and Croatia.
Valcke, however, concerned that the late delivery of stadiums and facilities made it tough to properly test everything. He said on the first day of a four-day trip to Brazil that Sao Paulo would be ready for the opening game, but it didn’t mean Sao Paulo would be ready in time because the delivery date for the stadium was 15 Jan, 2014.
As reported, huge areas surrounding the ground are still covered in dust and rubble, mechanical diggers and manual laborers.
The Sao Paulo state secretary of planning and development Julio Semeghini confirmed, a bus terminal under construction between the stadium and the nearest train station would not be completed and a walkway from the metro was also in danger of not being ready.
He told Reuters, the access from the metro had to be ready. The bus terminal that would be a legacy for after the World Cup won’t be ready. They would top that work during the Cup and finish it after the Cup.
The tournament has been beset by problems and delays. Although Brazil had almost seven years to get ready, with just 51 days to go before the opening match three stadiums are still unfinished and much of the promised infrastructure improvements have not happened.
The tournament will take place in 12 cities between June 12 and July 13.
FROM: ABC NEWS