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FIFA Demands New Test Game at Stadium Hosting World Cup Opener

May 21 (Bloomberg) -- FIFA demanded a second test game at the Sao Paulo stadium scheduled to host next month’s World Cup opener because the venue failed to meet the tournament organizer’s standards during the first practice match.

Three workers have died during the construction of 820 million reais ($370 million) Corinthians Arena, where work continues 22 days before the June 12 start of soccer’s world championship.

“It is vital for the organizers that all facilities will be tested under full match conditions, including the use of temporary seats and associated facilities,” FIFA said in a statement. “These additional installations were not in place when the first test match took place on 19 May.”

The venue, which will be called Sao Paulo Stadium during the World Cup, hosted a league game between arena owner Corinthians and Figueirense. Some fans were drenched during a rainstorm because sections of the roof won’t be completed until after sports’ most-watched event ends July 13.

The stadium will have a capacity of 68,000 fans during the World Cup, including about 20,000 who’ll sit in temporary seats being installed for the event.

Finding Game

FIFA said the Brazil soccer federation, known as the CBF, is “working to reschedule a Brazilian championship fixture for the test to ensure it attracts more than 50,000 spectators.”

Construction of the stadium was delayed by a crane collapse in November that killed two men. The crane hit part of the roof facade and the area was shut down as police and safety officials investigated the incident. Another worker died there in March when he fell while installing the temporary seats.

The area outside the stadium remains under construction too, as work continues on entrance roads. The stadium is scheduled to host six World Cup games, including the opener between Brazil and Croatia, and a semifinal on July 9.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tariq Panja in Rio de Janeiro at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at Michael Sillup, Dex McLuskey

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