By Ben Tavener, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Brazil’s friendly against England on Sunday, June 2nd, at Rio’s recently-renovated Maracanã Stadium, which had been suspended by a court order amid safety concerns, has now been given the all-clear, according to Rio state authorities.
The national squads of both countries are set for the showdown this weekend in what should be a second and final test-event for the 78,000-capacity stadium ahead of the FIFA Confederations Cup, which begins in a little over two weeks’ time.
Judge Adriana Costa dos Santos, who passed the initial court order earlier on Thursday suspending the game, had said the stadium had failed to prove that safety standards for spectators had been met.
However, the suspension has now been overturned, according to a statement from the Rio state government released late on Thursday, after a duty judge was presented with the required police safety report for the stadium.
Carlos Eugênio Lopes, from the CBF (Brazilian Football Confederation), said that all necessary safety reports for the game to be played had been submitted.
The Rio state government had earlier said in a statement that it was appealing the decision: “All safety requirements for the Brazil-England friendly have been complied with and, because of a bureaucratic failure, the military police report which attests our compliance with the safety rules at the Maracanã have not been delivered to [Rio State sports authority] SUDERJ.”
The first judge had said that the suspension could be lifted before the game if the concerns were suitably addressed. If the stadium had gone ahead with the game with the suspension in place, the CBF and the Local Organizing Committee would have been fined R$1 million (around US$474,000), O Globo newspaper reports.
The England national team have already arrived in Brazil ahead of the match, and the side, including world-renowned players including Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney, were quick to make a stop at Copacabana Beach.
There have also been concerns at the Arena Nova Fonte stadium in Salvador, after a roof panel came loose. Officials have since blamed “human error” rather than structural problems.
The Maracanã opened in April after three years of renovation work, at a cost of over R$1 billion (US$474 million). The iconic stadium is famed for hosting the 1950 Brazil World Cup in which Brazil lost to Uruguay in a bitterly-fought final.
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