Sao Paulo: Another test below expectations

source:; author: michał

Sao Paulo: Another test below expectations FIFA specifically ordered a further test game for Arena Corinthians to assure at least one game with all stands opened will be played. But once more only 40,000 people were allowed inside yesterday.


Arena Corinthians isn’t enjoying an easy run or good press in recent months. The opening stadium of 2014 World Cup is still considered unready to host the event, which is due in just 10 days.

The countdown led FIFA to a rare decision. Despite already being under the football body’s governance, the stadium was commissioned to hold one more test game by Corinthians, following the unsatisfactory official opening against Figueirense in mid-May.

Yesterday’s Botafogo encounter was expected to draw crowds. It was even rescheduled from Thursday to Sunday  in an attempt to sell as many seats as possible. The change to June 1 was also hoped to give contractors a bit more time, but that hope faded before the weekend.

Local authorities decided to impose a capacity limit on the stadium, again setting the maximum crowd size at 40,000, like in the first official game. This way Arena Corinthians becomes an unusual opening stadium, holding no full-house test before the World Cup.

Yesterday only one temporary stand was opened to the public, in the southern end. North end wasn’t approved by the fire department. Also the two smaller temporary sections in the east and most of the western side’s upper deck were sealed off.

What may be of consolation at least to Corinthians fans, their team finally scored a goal, though only managed to tie 1:1 with Botafogo. Supporters also had more permanent access routes opened for use than last time, but will now have to wait for a full opening until after the World Cup.

Opening game is scheduled for June 12. Brazil will face Croatia at 1700 local time.

Arena CorinthiansPhoto: Leandro Massaroto

Arena CorinthiansPhoto: Leandro Massaroto