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Fans report problems at World Cup stadium

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

SAO PAULO, AP - Fans attending the inaugural match at the new stadium in the jungle city of Manaus were not completely satisfied and reported a lot of unfinished work at the venue, which is set to host its first World Cup match in about three months.

Local media also reported a series of problems at the Arena da Amazonia, which opened on Monday with a local match attended by about 20,000 people, including workers who helped build the 44,000-capacity stadium.

Some of the bathrooms weren't finished and there were leaks from parts of the roof. Fans also complained of long lines to purchase food at concession stands and said some tickets were sold to seats that didn't exist.

Local World Cup organisers said they would try to fix the problems for the next test events at the stadium, which was almost 98 per cent completed. They said they already knew some of the work was not going to be finalised by Monday's regional championship match between Nacional and Remo.

The Arena da Amazonia will host four World Cup games in June, including England vs. Italy and United States vs. Portugal. The stadium was the ninth venue to become available for football's showcase event. Three still have to be finished, including the one hosting the opener in Sao Paulo on June 12.

In addition to the lack of finishing details in most areas, Brazilian media said construction material could be seen in some places and many wheelchair fans had difficulties accessing their seats.

At least two other test matches are expected at the stadium, which was one of six stadiums not ready by the end of last year, as FIFA had initially requested. It was expected to be inaugurated last month but the event had to be postponed because there was too much outstanding work. The Arena da Amazonia cost nearly $US290million ($F543million), about $US70million ($F131million) more than originally expected.

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