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Brazil holds final stadium tests for World Cup

Brazil holds final stadium tests for World Cup, including at unfinished venue hosting opener

Corinthians's and  Figueirense players listen to the national anthem prior to a Brazilian soccer league match at the Itaquerao, the still unfinished s...
Corinthians's and Figueirense battle it out during a Brazilian soccer league match at the Itaquerao, the still unfinished stadium that will host the W...
Corinthians's and Figueirense battle it our during a Brazilian soccer league match at the Itaquerao, the still unfinished stadium that will host the W...
Corinthians's and Figueirense players battle it out during a Brazilian soccer league match at the Itaquerao, the still unfinished stadium that will ho...
Corinthians's Guilherme, left, fights for a ball with  Figueirense's Guilherme Lazaroni during a Brazilian soccer league match at the Itaquerao, the s...
Corinthians's supporters cheer during a Brazilian soccer league match at the Itaquerao, the still unfinished stadium, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, Ma...
Corinthians's Paolo Guerrero, right, fights for a ball with Figueirense's Luan, during a Brazilian soccer league match at the Itaquerao, the still unf...

Brazil WCup Stadium

Corinthians's and Figueirense players listen to the national anthem prior to a Brazilian soccer league match at the Itaquerao, the still unfinished s...

Brazil WCup Stadium

Corinthians's and Figueirense battle it out during a Brazilian soccer league match at the Itaquerao, the still unfinished stadium that will host the W...

Brazil WCup Stadium

Corinthians's and Figueirense battle it our during a Brazilian soccer league match at the Itaquerao, the still unfinished stadium that will host the W...

Brazil WCup Stadium

Corinthians's and Figueirense players battle it out during a Brazilian soccer league match at the Itaquerao, the still unfinished stadium that will ho...

Brazil WCup Stadium

Corinthians's Guilherme, left, fights for a ball with Figueirense's Guilherme Lazaroni during a Brazilian soccer league match at the Itaquerao, the s...

Brazil WCup Stadium

Corinthians's supporters cheer during a Brazilian soccer league match at the Itaquerao, the still unfinished stadium, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, Ma...

Brazil WCup Stadium

Corinthians's Paolo Guerrero, right, fights for a ball with Figueirense's Luan, during a Brazilian soccer league match at the Itaquerao, the still unf...

SAO PAULO (AP) -- Brazilian organizers held the final two stadium tests for the World Cup on Sunday, including a game at the troubled Sao Paulo arena that will host the opening match of the tournament in a few weeks.

Brazilian league matches were played to inaugurate Itaquerao stadium in Sao Paulo and Arena Pantanal in the western city of Cuiaba.

The two stadiums were among six not finished at the end of 2013 as promised for the World Cup, which begins June 12. Another one, Arena da Baixada in the southern city of Curitiba, held its final test last week.

All 12 stadiums being used for soccer's showcase tournament have now held at least one test event. None of the test matches was held at full capacity, however, as there is still a lot of work left to be done at the stadiums, including the installation of seats.

FIFA, soccer's governing body, usually wants three test events held in stadiums hosting World Cup games, but it had to accept less than that in Brazil because of the preparation delays. Beginning this week, FIFA will start taking over the venues to work on its own preparations.

Itaquerao will host nearly 70,000 fans and guests during the opening match between Brazil and Croatia. But only 40,000 people were allowed in for Sunday's match, which saw visiting Figueirense win 1-0 over the stadium's owner, the Corinthian club.

FIFA and the local World Cup organizing committee closely monitored the match, analyzing everything from fan access to the stadium to field conditions to security.

It rained heavily late in the first half and there was hail falling at halftime, forcing some fans to scramble for cover since part of the stadium's roof is not finished. The construction company in charge at the stadium has said the roof won't be complete by the time the tournament starts.

Arena Pantanal, which hosted a match between Santos and Atletico Mineiro in its final test Sunday, previously put on a game in April but only half the seats had been installed at that point.

A lot of work remains to be done outside stadiums, especially projects to improve nearby roads. At most of the World Cup venues, the installation of temporary structures to accommodate sponsors, media and technical teams are likely to continue until just days before the tournament begins.

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Tales Azzoni on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni


Updated : 2020-12-03 10:34 GMT+08:00