Brazilian stadiums face problems before Confederations Cup

Rio de Janeiro, May 28 (IANS) Some of Brazil's stadiums which will host the FIFA Confederations Cup in June are facing problems, two weeks before the beginning of the tourney.

The organising committee announced that a part of the roof of the Arena Fonte Nova Stadium in Salvador collapsed Monday. The roof canvas was unable to sustain the large amount of rain which fell over Salvador in an overnight storm. No one was injured, reports Xinhua.

The stadium, which cost 591 million reais ($288 million), was inaugurated in early April.

According to organisers, the incident was due to a human flaw - a part of the canvas had been set up wrong, which caused water to accumulate at one point. They said the problem will not happen again and the roof will be repaired in time for the Cup.

The collapse occurred on the same day Brazil president Dilma Rousseff praised the six new stadiums inaugurated for the Confederations Cup. In her weekly radio show, Rousseff said she was impressed by how modern and pretty the stadiums are, qualifying them as 'first world' facilities.

She also stressed that she is sure Brazil will do a remarkable job both in the Confederations Cup and in the FIFA World Cup, next year.

"Our people have the determination, capacity and competence necessary to make the best Cup ever," she said.

Trouble in the stadiums was not limited to Arena Fonte Nova. In Brasilia's Mane Garrincha Stadium, fans had minor problems in a match Sunday, such as long lines to get in which caused several people to miss the beginning of the game. Parts of the stadium, such as some hallways and the press room, need to be finished up as well.

In Rio's Maracana Stadium, the largest in Brazil, the situation is a bit more pressing. The stadium was re-inaugurated in April with a match between team of Brazilian football stars but will be re-opened for official matches Sunday, with a friendly between Brazil and England.

The match will test the stadium's conditions for events with large crowds. The Maracana, however, will not be 100 percent ready by then. In a press conference held Monday, the organising committee said that several points remain unfinished, such as the VIP area, the signs outside the stadium and the construction in the stadium's surrounding area.

The press area will be at half capacity and temporary internet services will have to be set up for the friendly.

According to the organising committee, Maracana will only be completely finished by June 16, the day of the first Confederations Cup match to be held in the stadium, in which Mexico will play against Italy.

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