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Stadium roof not finished during opening game

Sunday, May 18, 2014

SAO PAULO - The roof of the stadium hosting the World Cup opener in a few weeks will not be fully finished in time for the tournament, constructors said yesterday.

Construction company Odebrecht confirmed that a part of the roof at the Itaquerao would only be completed after the World Cup.

There was not enough time to install the glass covers that were supposed to be added to the stadium's roofing structure, so Odebrecht and local organisers decided to postpone the work until after the tournament.

Odebrecht said the missing covers would not affect fans watching matches in the stadium, although it appeared from photos that more people would be covered from rain if they were in place.

Also on Friday, the company in charge of 20,000 temporary seats needed for the opener said it successfully addressed all health and safety issues that had prompted prosecutors to threaten to halt work at the venue.

Odebrecht said in an email sent to AP that "the glass covers will only be installed after the World Cup" because "transparency studies" were still being finalised to make sure the covers could allow the passage of the proper amount of light needed to "preserve the pitch in good conditions".

The metal structures where the glasses have to be installed are in place but they will be empty by the time the nearly 70,000 fans and guests arrive for the high-profile opener between Brazil and Croatia on June 12. The venue will host five World Cup matches.

Odebrecht said the roof itself was ready and guaranteed that the covers were not essential, even though they were part of the initial project.

The company had already said that not all fans in the temporary seats behind the goals would be fully covered from rain.

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