Brazil Olympics stadium shuts over roof problems

Brazil’s preparations for the World Cup and Olympic Games have run into further difficulties after the authorities indefinitely closed a Rio de Janeiro stadium because of roof problems, the city’s mayor announced.

The Joao Havelange stadium, home to the Botafogo football club and due to host the athletics competition during the 2016 Games, will be shut down until the matter is resolved, mayor Eduardo Paes said.

“The stadium will remain closed indefinitely,” he said. “If it takes a year, then it will be closed for a year.”

After being informed of the problems by the company working on the structure, Paes said he asked if they represented a risk for fans.

“The answer was yes,” Paes said in remarks quoted by the O Globo newspaper. “We cannot play around with an issue like this.”

The stadium will not be used for the Confederations Cup in June or the 2014 World Cup. Still, Botafogo and others who currently use the venue have been informed of the situation and asked to look for alternative locations.

Word of the closure comes as Rio’s emblematic Maracana stadium, which hosted the final of the 1950 World Cup, is undergoing a makeover amid concern that reconstruction was falling behind schedule.

Earlier this month, FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke said “there is no plan B” in case the Maracana or any of the other five venues for the Confederations Cup are not ready in time.

Known locally as “Engenhao” due to its location in the Engenho de Dentro neighborhood, the Joao Havelange stadium stadium opened in 2007 for the PanAm Games and at the time was considered one of the most modern sporting venues in Latin America.

It has the capacity to hold 47,000 people, with authorities planning to increase that number for the Olympics.

The 2016 Summer Games will be held in Rio de Janeiro August 5-21, 2016.

The development of mass transit projects, the modernization of the city’s port area and the construction of the Olympic village are all viewed as a source of concern as the clock ticks down.

Read more :
  • Garcia, Bersamina score in Asian Youth
    INTERNATIONAL Master Jan Emmanuel Garcia and FIDE Master (FM) Paulo Bersamina claimed back-to-back wins in the Asian Youth Chess Championship 2013 in Sari, Iran on Saturday. Garcia beat Fa...
  • Anne Keothavong targets Olympic Games
    Great Britain's number two Anne Keothavong has set herself the target of qualifying for the Olympic Games in London next year. The 28-year-old is currently ranked number 72 in the world bu...
  • Brilliant brothers set up unique Super Bowl showdown
    NEW YORK - The San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens won their National Football League championships in stunning fashion on Sunday to set up an extraordinary sibling rivalry in next...
  • Allardyce close to new Hammers deal
    West Ham manager Sam Allardyce on Wednesday claimed he is close to signing a new contract with the Premier League club. Allardyce's current deal with the Hammers expires at the end of the ...
  • India-born Manchester United fan bashed up in UK in alleged racist attack
    A 56-year-old India-born football fan was beaten up badly by seven men and punched in the face and head more than 18 times on a packed tram in UK, as 200 onlookers did nothing to save him f...
  • FIFA backs Brazil despite 2014 World Cup delays
    World football governing body FIFA has backed Brazil to have its 2014 World Cup stadiums and infrastructure ready in time despite construction delays. Only two venues are so far ready for ...
  • Police probe after coins thrown at Lampard, Terry
    Police launched an investigation on Sunday after coins were thrown at Frank Lampard and John Terry during Chelsea's 2-0 win over West Ham at Stamford Bridge. Lampard, a former West Ham pla...
  • PH to see action in Rugby World Cup 7
    The Volcanoes, under American coach Al Caravelli, are set to compete in the 2013 Rugby World Cup Seven slated on June 28 to 30. Caravelli told reporters during a press conference in Pasay ...