The Maracana re-construction
Officials in Rio de Janeiro insist Brazil’s friendly with England at the legendary Maracana will go ahead this summer, despite fears over delays in the venue’s re-construction.
Roy Hodgson’s side are due to play Brazil on June 2 to celebrate the stadium’s renovation, four weeks before it hosts matches in the Confederations Cup.
But recent pictures showed much of the building work halted because of flooding, with hundreds of seats needing to be added and the pitch still unlaid.
Fifa had set an April deadline for the stadium to be ready, with general secretary Jerome Valcke expressing his concerns on a recent fact-finding mission.
But Andre Lazaroni, the state secretary of sports and leisure of Rio, believes the stadium will be completed in time.
‘The Maracana will be ready on 27 April and we will have three warm-up games and then the Confederations Cup,’ he said.
‘The Maracana has of course been a very big challenge, it has never had a refurbishment and never been changed since it was first built but I am very confident the work will be finished in time.
‘Rio will be in the spotlight this summer but we think we can give England a very warm welcome and the city is ready.’