World Cup chit-chat: Brazilian stadium holds first test ahead of opener
Organisers of the 2014 Soccer World Cup conducted the first and only official test of facilities at Sao Paulo's still-incomplete Arena Corinthians stadium on Sunday, 25 days before it will host the opening match between Brazil and Croatia.
Brazil's World Cup preparations have been plagued by delays and unfulfilled promises. The stadiums built or renovated for the World Cup are over budget and several remain incomplete. The Cup begins June 12.
Many new public transport projects promised for the World Cup have not been started and many are unfinished. Anger over the cost and broken promises has contributed to waves of street protests in the last year and cut the popularity of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff ahead of elections in October.
About 36,694 fans attended the Brazilian football championship match on Sunday at Arena Corinthians, about half the capacity that will be available for the six World Cup matches, including one semi-final game, to be played at the 1.07 billion real (286 million pounds) stadium.
The stadium, more than a year behind schedule, still requires landscaping and access work outside the facility.
At Sunday's game organizers were unable to provide some services, such as metal detectors, promised for the World Cup, according to the World Cup Local Organizing Committee.
Fans did not receive "100 per cent of the services that will be offered during the World Cup nor did they receive the scale and quality of services that will be offered at World Cup competition," it said in a note.
- Please click NEXT for more...
Image: Corinthians fans before the game
Photographs: Getty Images
Lampard named England vice-captain in Brazil
Frank Lampard will be England's vice-captain at next month's World Cup in Brazil, manager Roy Hodgson said on Sunday.
The 35-year-old Chelsea midfielder, who has played 103 times for his country and skippered the team six times, was chosen as Steven Gerrard's deputy ahead of striker Wayne Rooney.
"Frank's been the vice-captain all along in Steven's absences, which I think has been twice," Hodgson told the FA website. "He's stepped up quite brilliantly.
"I've always thought that he was going to be a key member of this 23 because of his experience and what he brings to the team apart from pure footballing ability.
"He brings a lot of other things to us in terms of his leadership qualities and characteristics."
England have friendlies against Peru, Ecuador and Honduras before starting their World Cup campaign against Italy on June 14.
They also play Uruguay and Costa Rica in Group D.
Image: Frank Lampard
Photographs: Eric Gaillard/Reuters