Brazil Stadium Roof Tears Weeks Before World Cup Warmup

A second stadium in Brazil being used for this month’s Confederations Cup, a warm-up event for soccer’s World Cup next year, has structural problems with its roof.

Images broadcast on television channel Record showed part of the roof’s covering torn as workers bailed out rainwater that had settled on the structure of the Arena Fonte Nova, one of the new stadiums built for the World Cup. Italy will train at Rio de Janeiro Joao Havelange stadium during the eight-team Confederations Cup. That stadium, built in 2007, is indefinitely shut to the public after signs of wear were found on its roof.

Local Organizing committee spokesman Saint-Clair Milesi wasn’t immediately able to comment.

“The Local Organising Committee and FIFA are aware of the partial rupture of one of the 36 membrane panels of the roof of the Arena Fonte Nova,” FIFA said today in a statement. “The repairs are already underway. The causes for this rupture are currently being evaluated including a detailed assessment of all panels. The LOC is monitoring the repairs through their on-site experts.”

Brazil’s stadium preparation program for the month-long World Cup has been hurt by delays and cost overruns on several projects. The Marcana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, which will host the final game of the tournament, was opened several months after a second-deadline from FIFA in December because the stadium’s roof needed to be rebuilt.

Only two of the six stadiums being used at the Confederations Cup met FIFA’s deadline, meaning the governing body had to backtrack on a demand that each venue host three test events before the tournament begins on June 15.

On June 2 Brazil hosts England in an exhibition game at the Maracana, the first time the stadium has operated at full capacity since its three-year refurbishment, which cost more than $500 million.

While workers were attempting to fix the problem with the roof, Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff said in a weekly radio address that she was certain the country “will shine on and off the field.”

The 56,000-seat Fonte Nova stadium was opened in April and will host three games during the Confederations Cup, including Brazil’s match with Italy on June 22.

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