By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Rio’s Engenhão Stadium has been put out of action by city mayor Eduardo Paes for the indefinite future. The move leaves the Carioca football calendar in chaos, with the remainder of the local state tournament to play, not to mention Fluminense’s participation in this year’s Copa Libertadores tournament.
Problems with the structure of the stadium, which would have put fans’ safety at risk, caused Paes to act. Fluminense’s match last night against Macaé, scheduled to be played at the Engenhão, was moved to Vasco’s São Januário stadium.
“The problem has been identified, but I have not yet been presented with a solution. The stadium will only be reopened when the risk is definitively solved. It could be anything from a month to a year,” Paes said at a press conference on Tuesday.
The stadium was only opened in 2007 for the Pan America games and has caused shockwaves throughout the city, not to mention embarrassment as the country gears up for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games. With the finishing touches still being put to the Maracanã, Rio’s four big teams are left with just one major stadium.
Alongside São Januário, the Moça Bonita in Bangu and the Conselheiro Galvão should be used for Taça Rio, Copa do Brasil and Libertadores fixtures. But neither of the latter two stadia have floodlights, making evening games an impossibility.
As a result, Macaé’s Moacryzão and Volta Redonda’s Raulino de Oliveira, both of which are capable of being used at night, should host a large proportion of future fixtures.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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