• Maracana safety concerns cause doubts over England's friendly in Brazil
    09:18 | 31/05/2013

    FIFA is hopeful that England’s friendly against Brazil on Sunday will go ahead despite concerns over safety at the Maracana Stadium.


    It emerged on Thursday evening that the friendly was the subject of a suspension order by a local judge due to a lack of a safety certificate.

    Judge Adriana Costa dos Santos was quoted by newspaper Estado as saying: “Despite numerous requests from the public ministry (the state prosecutor), the reports were not delivered in their entirety.

    “We do not have, at this moment, the proof the stadium meets the minimum requirements necessary to put on matches or events.

    “Because of the inaction of those responsible, there is no way we can allow the stadium to be re-opened without the proof that it is in satisfactory conditions for hygiene and safety.”

    But the Rio de Janeiro state government soon confirmed its intention to appeal against the ruling and sources close to FIFA expected the safety certificate to be granted on Friday and for the high-profile match to be played.

    The Maracana has only just re-opened after a major facelift ahead of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games, and this will be the first big match hosted there since the changes were made.

    Renovations ran more than four months over, with seats still being installed a matter of days before the test event that marked its re-opening, a friendly between teams captained by Brazil football legends Ronaldo and Bebeto.

    Safety certificate problem

    Chief news reporter Bryan Swanson told Sky Sports News: “This relates to the state government of Rio de Janeiro and simply put they are yet to issue a safety certificate for the Maracana Stadium.

    “The state government are the owners of the Maracana and when you organise any events you need a safety certificate. FIFA officials have told us that this is down to a bureaucratic failure – they have been informed that this will be solved on Friday.

    “This friendly has been fully organised by the Brazilian federation so FIFA is not directly involved in this match. Thursday is a public holiday in Brazil but the state government has issued a note to say that, as far as they are concerned, this will be resolved on Friday and there is no significant concern about the state of this game taking place this weekend.

    “This was meant to be the showpiece event for the renovated Maracana. FIFA has long faced questions about just how ready Brazil will be for the World Cup and this event was meant to pass off without any incidents.

    “While there is not any considerable concern about the future of this game in the short-term, clearly in the long-term questions will be asked.”

    The local authorities have issued a statement which read: “The Government of Rio de Janeiro is appealing against the decision (to suspend the match).

    “All safety requirements for the friendly between Brazil and England have been complied with and, because of a bureaucratic failure, the appraisal from the public ministry that proves the compliance with the rules on safety at the Maracana have not been sent to Suderj (the relevant state authority).”

    According to Skysports

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