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FIFA likely won't be able to fully test WCup venue

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 29, 2014 at 10:47 pm •  Published: May 29, 2014

SAO PAULO (AP) — FIFA may not be able to fully test the Sao Paulo stadium with a capacity crowd before the World Cup opener in two weeks.

Only 40,000 tickets are being sold for Sunday's Brazilian league match being played at the venue because sections of temporary seats recently installed have not yet been certified by local building authorities.

FIFA wanted the stadium tested at full capacity at least once before nearly 70,000 people arrive for the tournament opener between Brazil and Croatia on June 12.

The temporary seats also weren't used in the first official test event at the Itaquerao earlier this month, when less than 37,000 people attended.

FIFA made an exception to have a match played so close to the tournament because it was deemed necessary to properly evaluate the stadium.

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke last week said it was "vital" to test all Itaquerao facilities "under full match conditions, including the temporary seats."

FIFA said another test at the stadium was important "given the attention drawn from the opening match," when many heads of state will be among the special guests.

Confirmation that only a portion of the seats would be put on sale was announced by stadium owner Corinthians late Thursday. The club did not obtain the needed clearances from local authorities to allow a full crowd.

FIFA did not immediately comment on the change, but the local World Cup organizing committee said in an email that it was still hoping to fully test the venue.

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