Friday, 31 May 2013

BRAZIL-ENGLAND GAME IN DOUBT


ABOVE: Roy Hodgson faces an anxious wait
“
If the appropriate paperwork can be lodged, there remains the prospect of the game going ahead
”
Judge Adriana Costa dos Santos
31st May 2013

By David Woods

ENGLAND are today anxiously waiting to hear if their friendly with Brazil on Sunday will go ahead.

The match was thrown into doubt last night when a local judge ordered it to be "suspended" over safety issues at Rio's famous Maracana Stadium.

It has recently undergone a £230m, three-year upgrade to a 78,000-seat venue for the 2014 World Cup Final.

But there are fears that the stadium is not yet capable of handling the game against Roy Hodgson's men, with concerns over fire, hygiene and engineering.

Judge Adriana Costa dos Santos said: "At this moment we have no news that the restrictions were amended to a level of safety that would be expected at this stage.

"Therefore, due to the laziness of the people responsible, in this case the defendants, we cannot allow the stadium to be re-inaugurated without proof it is safe and hygienic.

"If the appropriate paperwork can be lodged, there remains the prospect of the game going ahead."

Late last night the race was on to save the fixture, with Rio's State Government quickly lodging an appeal against the judge's decision.

Like Wembley, the Maracana is one of the world's iconic football venues.

Nearly 200,000 people watched the 1950 World Cup final between Brazil and Uruguay - the largest official football stadium attendance.

England's first visit to the Maracana since 1984 is scheduled to launch the refurbished stadium and test its facilities in a big-match situation before the World Cup
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