FA confident that Maracana Stadium will be fit for England friendly against Brazil

 

The Football Association has insisted that Sunday's friendly against Brazil at the Maracana Stadium will go ahead despite the issuing of a court order last night to postpone the match on safety grounds.

Sao Paulo-based newspaper Estado stated in a report on its website that a state prosecutor had submitted a request for the match to be cancelled because of a lack of assurances that work on the stadium was complete. However, a statement from the stadium's owners Rio de Janeiro State Government last night blamed a "bureaucratic failure" for failing to deliver a police report that proves compliance has been met at the world famous stadium, which has been given a £380m facelift.

The managing director of Club England, Adrian Bevington, also told The Independent last night that he had received assurances the fixture will still go ahead.

"We are working on the basis that the game is going ahead. We've not been told any differently," he said. "There's a lot of conversations going on at the moment but we're planning as normal to play the match."

Workers at the venue have been working 20-hour days in an effort to complete building work in time for England's visit and next month's Confederations Cup. Yet the judge's verdict claimed the stadium remains under construction and pointed to the existence of hazardous materials such as stones, pieces of debris from sidewalks and works that could be used in riots.

"Despite numerous requests made by prosecutors, the reports were not delivered in its entirety, without, so far, the evidence that the stadium meets the minimum necessary to carry out games or events," the judge wrote.

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