FIFA Orders Another Test Match At World Cup Stadium After Issues With Seating, Roof
FIFA has “ordered one more test game at the stadium in São Paulo that will host the opening match of the World Cup after problems surfaced over the weekend at the venue's inaugural match,” according to Rogerio Jelmayer of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Not all of the seats required for the World Cup were installed in time for Sunday's game at the Arena Corinthians, “prompting FIFA to ask” for another test game. FIFA “requires the venue to seat 68,000 spectators but only 40,000 were used for Sunday's match.” The other 28,000 seats “are temporary and will only be used during the World Cup.” Some problems “arose during Sunday's test game because of an unfinished roof that forced many fans to scramble for covered seats because of heavy rain.” Sources said that the part of the roof covering the rest of the seats "won't be finished until after the World Cup." Journalists and fans “also reported problems using cellphones and gaining access to the Internet at the stadium during the match." The second test game "will take place" on My 29 (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/21).
OF STADIUMS AND UNREST: Last night's edition of HBO's "Real Sports" examined Brazil's infrastructure and stadium construction efforts. HBO's Jon Frankel noted the government has built stadiums across the country, but asked, "What will they be used for after the World Cup? That's the $4 billion question. But if history is any guide, many will become expensive and empty monuments to waste or what the ancients called white elephants." Frankel: "They are the dirty, little secret shared by almost every country that has recently hosted the World Cup or the Olympic Games." He added, "Brazil's economy, once sizzling hot, is now ice cold and untold millions live in third-world poverty. But undeterred, the government is about to spend more money on a World Cup than any country in history and worry about tomorrow tomorrow" ("Real Sports," HBO, 5/20). The Nation's Dave Zirin said Brazil is "not ready" for the World Cup. Zirin: "Imagine mass protests in New York City against pizza. It's Brazil and people are marching on soccer stadiums" ("Morning Joe," MSNBC, 5/21). Soccer legend and Brazil native Pelé said, “Politically speaking, the money spent to build the stadiums was a lot, and in some cases was more than it should have been” (USA TODAY, 5/21).