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Volume 10 No. 22
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England Friendly Against Brazil In Rio De Janeiro 'In Doubt' After Stadium Issues

There are "growing concerns" surrounding the viability of England’s prestigious friendly against Brazil going ahead in Rio de Janeiro this summer after the city’s Olympic Stadium was closed indefinitely amid fears the roof could collapse, according to Scott-Elliot & Sandy of the London INDEPENDENT. England is due to play Brazil in the refurbished Maracana Stadium in Rio on June 2 "but it is still undergoing major building work and is unlikely to meet" its April 27 completion deadline. The Olympic Stadium, which was built in '07, "would have offered an ideal fall-back if the Maracana is not ready." The FA has an agreement with the Brazilian football federation to play the match in Rio -- the venue was never specified -- and "would be reluctant to see a switch to another city, such as Sao Paulo." Rio’s other major stadium is Estadio Sao Januario, the "ageing home of Vasco da Gama." But it has a capacity of only 25,000 and is "rarely used to stage major fixtures" (INDEPENDENT, 3/28).