Brazilian Clubs Allowed To Use Maracana Until Month Before World Cup
Organizers said that Brazilian clubs "will be able to use the Maracana for domestic matches until a month before the World Cup, which opens June 12," according to the AFP. Several of the 12 World Cup venues "are running behind schedule." Despite concerns over other venues, FIFA delegate Chris Unger indicated "the organization was happy with domestic games to continue through to May at the Maracana, which underwent a multimillion [dollar] refurbishment prior to last June's Confederations Cup." He said, "The point of this visit was not to redesign the stadium -- it's a beautiful stadium. The purpose of the first visit since the Confederations Cup is to review, together with the local organizing committee, FIFA, the host city and the stadium operator (a private consortium) findings from the Confederations Cup and ... adaptations we need to make for the World Cup." Unger stressed that use of the stadium "fell within the remit of the stadium owners and the Brazilian football authorities, not FIFA but added 'there is an ongoing dialogue' between all parties concerned" (AFP, 1/16).