View of the Arena Corinthians stadium during the Brazilian league match between Corinthians against Figueirense in Sao Paulo on Sunday. It’s the first official competitive match in the stadium which will host six games in the FIFA World Cup 2014 including the opening match between Brazil and Croatia on June 12th. EPA
SÃO PAULO—FIFA, soccer’s governing body, has ordered one more test game at the stadium in São Paulo that will host the opening match of the World Cup after problems surfaced over the weekend at the venue’s inaugural match.
The Arena Corinthians held its first official match on Sunday between the Figueirense and Corinthians soccer teams as part of the Brazilian National Championship tournament.
Not all the seats required for the World Cup were installed in time for Sunday’s game, prompting FIFA to ask for another test. FIFA requires the venue to seat 68,000 spectators but only 40,000 were used for Sunday’s match. The other 28,000 seats are temporary and will only be used during the World Cup.
The second test game will take place on May 29 between Corinthians and Cruzeiro. The match had previously been scheduled for May 28 at another, smaller stadium in São Paulo, according to Brazil’s Soccer National Confederation, CBF.
Some problems arose during Sunday’s test game because of an unfinished roof that forced many fans to scramble for covered seats because of heavy rain.
Part of the roof that will cover the rest of the seats at the stadium won’t be finished until after the World Cup, according to the local media.
Journalists and fans also reported problems using cellphones and gaining access to the Internet at the stadium during the match.
The difficulties underscore growing concern that Brazil won’t be prepared to host the world’s biggest sporting event, which starts on June 12. FIFA Secretary Jerome Valcke on Monday asked Brazilian organizers to stage another match on May 29, according to CBF.
Mr. Valcke, who has expressed frustration with Brazil’s preparations in the past, used his Twitter account Monday night to explain why he thinks another match is needed.
“A test event does not compare to the scale, needs and global attention of the opening match of the World Cup,” Mr. Valcke said. Arena Corinthians “still needs 100% from everybody to guarantee necessary structures are in place for the opener.”
The exact number of seats not yet installed wasn’t revealed by the stadium’s owner. Andrés Sánchez, former Corinthians president and the manager of the project, wasn’t immediately available for comment.
Arena Corinthians has suffered numerous construction delays, including one after a fatal incident last year when a roof structure collapsed and killed two workers.
Several other Brazilian World Cup stadiums have reported problems as well. In Cuiaba, the capital of Mato Grosso state, a fan ran onto the field during a game between Santos and Atlético Mineiro over the past weekend, showing a lack of security in a country famous for fights, many times violent, between fans of local soccer teams.
The Cuiaba stadium has also been late installing all of its nearly 43,000 seats, though that work has now been finished according to local organizers.
Stadiums in the southern Brazilian cities of Curitiba and Porto Alegre and in the northern city of Manaus are still finishing work on access sidewalks outside those venues.
Critics have said Brazil erred in constructing so many arenas across a country the size of the continental U.S. The country has spent $3.6 billion to build or remodel the 12 stadiums, most of which are behind schedule and over budget.
Public support for the World Cup in Brazil has slipped amid anger at the government for not adequately spending on basic services like education and health services.
The federal government has said that stadium costs were shared with state and municipal governments, along with construction companies, which in certain cases assumed part of the added costs and will gain the rights to operate some services at the stadiums after the World Cup.