FIFA, Corinthians cancel test match at World Cup opening stadium

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Photo from Zimbio.com

By RYAN TOLMICH

With the World Cup just a few weeks away, a FIFA mandated test of Brazil’sĀ Arena Corinthians has been postponed due to a lack of sufficient preparation of both the stadium and its surrounding area.

It was announced Tuesday that the matchup between Brazilian clubs Corinthians and Cruzeiro had been moved to a 4:00 p.m. start time on May 29 in order to test the currently unfinished stadium at the time of its scheduled World Cup opener. However, according to Reuters, the proposed matchup has been postponed to June 1 and will take place between two different teams with Corinthians and Cruzeiro still expected to play on the initial May 29 date.

According to Brazilian news site Estadao, concerns over the stadium’s surrounding area and its ability to handle the anticipated crowd led to the postponement. Furthermore, concerns over the installation of temporary bleachers to accommodate the game worried organizers.

According to FIFA, the change of date was a request from locals, who felt the weekend would be better suited for such a game.

“The decision was taken to have the match on a Sunday rather than a weekday to reduce the impact on the city’s operational routine, after a request from local authorities,” FIFA said in an official statement.

The stadium held what was expected to be its final test event Sunday, but an evening start time and limited capacity influenced FIFA to mandate a final match under World Cup conditions. According to reports, the crowd consisted of just 36,000 fans for Sunday’s game, compared to the total stadium capacity of 68,000. FIFA is hoping the rescheduled match draws at least 50,000 fans.

“Given the attention drawn from the Opening Match of the FIFA World Cup, it is vital for the organizers that all facilities will be tested under full match conditions, including the use of temporary seats and associated facilities,” FIFA said. “These additional installations were not in place when the first test match took place on 19 May.”

If all goes according to plan, the newly announced June 1 match will give FIFA one last test of the stadium at its maximum capacity prior to the tournament’s opening match-up between Brazil and Croatia June 12, which is expected to draw a crowd of roughly 70,000.

How worried are you about this summer’s World Cup? What do you expect of the stadiums?

Share your thoughts below.

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20 Responses to FIFA, Corinthians cancel test match at World Cup opening stadium

  1. Stoop says:

    How do you say “yikes” in Portuguese?

  2. Jay Boca says:

    More stadiums need white seats, looks cool.

  3. Alex H says:

    Test failed, I guess.

  4. Ian says:

    Understandable that locals would prefer the game to be held on a weekend, especially if the stadium is located “downtown,” or the equivalent thereof. But, uh, pretty sure there are going to be many midweek games during the WC, so hopefully they get things figured out. Luckily, the WC isn’t until Summer 2014. ;)

  5. Bach's Thumb says:

    Great job, Brazil. Great job.

  6. NC Jeff says:

    Man, I can sure see why FIFA ditched its continental rotation policy after going to Africa and now South America … I mean, otherwise, they would have had to go to the USA and/or Mexico next.

    • beto says:

      Ya you would think they would want to cool off a bit a go to a country with some existing stadiums for a change in ’18 and ’22…..

      • Strider says:

        There aren’t as many opportunity for bribes in countries like the US. The more building that is required the easier it is to hide those payoffs. Sorry to be cynical, but with FIFA how can you not be?

    • Ian says:

      The new policy clearly states, “The World Cup will be awarded to the most corrupt or inept governments on earth. Others need not apply.”

  7. wiger toods says:

    They must have used some strange wide angle lens in the photo, cuz the field looks square in the photo….

    • NC Jeff says:

      Actually, it is square … in order to cut costs, instead of a more typical 105m x 68m, they had to make it just 68m x 68m.

  8. JP says:

    That stadium is looking pretty awesome.

  9. slowleftarm says:

    Wow, I say let’s move it here. We can host this thing with virtually no notice.

  10. James H says:

    Man, this photo is messin’ with my mind