Reuters, citing a source with direct knowledge of the situation, said the stadium’s opening may be delayed until February but FIFA is not worried about its ability to host the World Cup’s opening game on June 12. A preliminary investigation into Wednesday’s accident has indicated that damage is confined to the concourse area and did not affect the stands – which could have taken longer to fix.
Two workers were killed when a crane collapsed at the stadium, casting doubt over whether the key venue will be ready in time for next year’s tournament. Construction workers had been seeking to finish the Sao Paulo stadium prior to a December deadline imposed by FIFA. The future home of Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A giant Corinthians is scheduled to host six games at the World Cup, including the opening match and one semi-final. Arena Corinthians will boast a capacity of 68,000 for the World Cup, with 20,000 of these seats being temporary for the event itself.
The stadium is said to be at 94% completion at present, with FIFA having repeatedly stressed that all 12 venues needed to be finished by the end of next month. World football’s governing body is likely to have to accept a delay for the completion of Arena Corinthians, but has said it has no Plan B for the host cities because nearly one million tickets have already been sold for the matches. “It is too premature to make any detailed assessment on the situation of the Corinthians Arena as we are still awaiting the technical report to be able to evaluate the scale of the damage,” FIFA told the Associated Press. “We will be able to provide an update earliest next week following the FIFA Organising Committee of the FIFA World Cup.”