Rio judge lifts ban on re-done Maracana Stadium

Rio de Janeiro, May 31 (IANS) Sunday's international football friendly between Brazil and England at the revamped Maracana stadium will go ahead after a judge lifted an injunction suspending the match.

The decision Thursday night followed the presentation by Maracana officials of a report guaranteeing the stadium met health and safety requirements, Rio de Janeiro's state government said in a statement, reports Xinhua.

"The on-duty judge at the Rio de Janeiro tribunal of justice has revoked the injunction that suspended the match after an appeal by the government," the statement said.

"The report had not been delivered to (stadium administrator) Suderj due to a bureaucratic error."

Earlier Thursday, Judge Adriana Costa dos Santos granted an injunction to ban the match after public prosecutors said documents that guaranteed fans' health and safety had not been submitted.

"At this point we have no news that there is a level of safety that would be expected," Santos said in a statement.

"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 that it is safe and hygienic."

Sunday's match will be the Maracana's official reopening after nearly three years of reconstruction work.

The stadium will host the finals of next month's FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2014 World Cup in addition to the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2016 Olympic Games.

Originally budgeted at $200 million, the final cost of the 79,000-seat venue has exceeded $500 million.

The venue was still surrounded by unfinished construction work despite assurances from organisers that it would be ready by April 27.


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