FIFA allays concerns over Maracana
Rio's emblematic Maracana stadium will be ready for June's Confederations Cup in Brazil, FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke said Thursday, despite concerns over flooding and delays in reconstruction work.
The famous old stadium in Rio de Janeiro that hosted the final match of the 1950 World Cup has been undergoing a makeover since December 2012.
There had been concern that reconstruction was falling behind schedule, particularly following heavy rains in the city on Tuesday night that left parts of the site flooded and forcing a planned FIFA inspection on Wednesday to be shelved.
But Valcke took to his Twitter account to allay concerns.
"Delighted that Rio's governor, (Sergio) Cabral, reconfirmed in our meeting that the Maracana will be opened on April 27, 2013," he wrote on @jeromevalcke.
The Brazilian government claims that 87 percent of the rebuilding work has been completed and the stadium remains on course to host matches not just at the Confederations Cup later this year but also the World Cup in 2014.
The official presentation of the Maracana to FIFA was supposed to take place in February but had to be postponed until May 24, some three weeks before the start of the Confederations Cup on June 15 when Brazil play Asian champions Japan in Brasilia.
The first match in the Maracana will be a friendly between Brazil and England on June 2 while the first Confederations Cup match to be held there will be on June 16 between Mexico and Italy.
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