Sao Paulo, May 19 IANS | 3 months ago

Organizers have hailed as a success the first official test event at the Itaquerao stadium, which will stage the FIFA World Cup opener between Brazil and Croatia next month.


The venue in Sao Paulo and Arena Pantanal in Brazil's western city of Cuiaba opened Sunday by hosting Brazilian Serie A matches, reported Xinhua.

At the Itaquerao, Figueirense upset hosts Corinthians 1-0 while Atletico Mineiro defeated Santos 2-1 at Arena Pantanal.

Despite a capacity to seat 70,000 fans, only 40,000 were allowed into the Itaquerao Sunday due to unfinished construction work.

Local World Cup organizing committee director Ricardo Trade said the Sao Paulo venue was on track to be ready for the World Cup to be played from June 12 to July 13.

"It was one of the best tests that we have carried out," Trade said.

"We can't say that everything is 100 percent. There were some leaks in some areas and an elevator didn't work, but these things can happen even in our own homes. Now we have to work to get things right."

The Itaquerao will stage six World Cup matches and Arena Pantanal four.

Brazil's World Cup stadiums have been hit by construction delays and safety concerns.

At least three venues - in Sao Paulo, Cuiaba and Curitiba - are yet to be fully ready for football's signature event, despite a December 2013 deadline issued by football's governing body FIFA.

(Posted on 19-05-2014)


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