BRASILIA: New confusion over the reopening of Maracana has accompanied contrasting statistics of record advance sales of tickets for the Confederations Cup next month.
An initial test event in front of a crowd limited to 25,000 took place last month in the stadium whose opening after major redevelopment is four months beyond deadline.
A second test match with a larger crowd had been scheduled but this has now been cancelled for unspecified reasons by the state government which owns Maracana – the venue for the finals of both the Confederations Cup and next year’s World Cup.
Spokesman have insisted, however, that the official reopening match, an international friendly between Brazil and England, will go ahead as planned on June 2.
Various proposals for the second test match have been rejected.
Fluminense were rebuffed after a request to stage a Copa Libertadores tie in Maracana and a Copa Brasil tie between Flamengo and Campinas will also be played elsewhere.
The Rio federation had applied in vain to stage the final of the Copa Rio in Maracana.
However on the assumption that the stadium will be up and running for the Confederations Cup some 60,744 tickets for the final have already been sold among a competition total sale of 588,178 tickets which represents 71.2pc of the 826,628 total. Almost all of them have been sold to local fans which means a minimal take-up by foreign supporters.
Opening match: Brazil v. Japan in Brasilia: 57,854
Match 2: Mexico v.Italy in Rio de Janeiro: 63,384
Match 3: Spain v. Uruguay in Recife : 34,356
Match 4: Tahiti v. Nigeria in Belo Horizonte: 10,029
Match 5: Brazil v. Mexico in Fortaleza: 47,485
Match 6: Italy v. Japan in Recife: 27,125
Match 7: Spain v. Tahiti in Rio de Janeiro: 49,432
Match 8: Nigeria v. Uruguay in Salvador: 22,682
Match 9: Italy v. Brazil in Salvador: 41,407
Match 10: Japan v. Mexico in Belo Horizonte: 26,291
Match 11: Nigeria v. Spain in Fortaleza: 32,672
Match 12: Uruguay v. Tahiti in Recife: 15,970
Semi-final in Belo Horizonte: 44,460
Semi-final in Fortaleza: 31,607
Match for third place in Salavdor: 22,680
Final in Rio de Janeiro: 60,744
** The government of Brasília state has approved a bylaw change permitting the sale of alcohol within the World Cup stadia zones as laid down by FIFA in its original World Cup agreement with the Brazilian government.