FIFA Postpone Final Test Event in Sao Paulo
By Community | May 22, 2014
FIFA have postponed the final test event in Sao Paulo further dampening preparations for the World Cup in Brazil.
Following concerns from local authorities, football’s international governing body revealed on Wednesday that the match scheduled for May 29 has been moved to the following Sunday to avoid disrupting the city’s “operational routine” on a working day.
FIFA said it also decided to stage the game on a weekend to ensure it attracts more than 50,000 fans needed to properly test the venue.
Less than 40,000 people attended the first test match at the Itaquerao stadium in Sao Paulo last weekend, when the 20,000 temporary seats being added for the opening game of the tournament couldn’t be used.
The new test event will be staged less than two weeks before the high-profile opener between Brazil and Croatia on June 12, when 70,000 fans and guests are expected.
FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said on Twitter: “It is vital for us that all facilities will be tested under full match conditions – including the temporary seats and associated facilities.”
The change in date comes amid a bus strike in Sao Paulo that has created chaos for people trying to get to work in the South American metropolis already known for its challenging rush-hour traffic.
FIFA said in a statement that it was a “request from local authorities” to have the match on a weekend to “reduce the impact on the city’s operational routine”.
FIFA said it was important to have another test match at the Itaquerao “given the attention drawn from the opening match.”
Only one test event had been initially scheduled for the Itaquerao because it was among the most delayed stadiums for the World Cup. The venue was expected to be completed by the end of last year, but two construction accidents that killed a total of three workers caused significant delays.
Among the problems last weekend were a leaking roof and faulty communications for fans and journalists.