Radio Sandwell Sport

Brazil-England friendly in doubt over safety concerns

2013-05-31 00:26:03

England's friendly with Brazil in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday has been suspended over safety issues at the recently-renovated Maracana stadium.

A court order on Thursday ruled that the game cannot go ahead.

But senior officials at the Football Association have told BBC Sport that they have received assurances from their Brazilian counterparts that the game will be played as scheduled.

The problem is understood to relate to the submission of necessary paperwork.

The Rio de Janeiro government has already appealed against the court's decision.

The iconic 78,000-seat Maracana reopened in April after nearly three years of work updating it for the 2014 World Cup finals.

Even though it reopened four months behind schedule, local newspapers still reported problems with the venue.

Days before the first test event at the stadium on 27 April - a friendly featuring former Brazil players - seats were still being installed and pavements laid near the venue.

The Jornal do Brasil reported at the time that visitors "needed patience to deal with the many problems" at the venue, arising from the rush to complete it.

It highlighted uneven flooring with small gaps and holes, flooding in the VIP area and a dysfunctional lift, and said some staff had tried to prevent journalists taking pictures of the affected areas.

England's visit is due to be the first major international test of the facility, with the Confederations Cup beginning two weeks later.

Roy Hodgson's squad have already arrived in Brazil ahead of what would be England's first game at the Maracana since 1984, if the friendly does go ahead.


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