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World Cup officials pleased after test in Curitiba

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 15, 2014 at 11:31 am •  Published: May 15, 2014
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SAO PAULO (AP) — World Cup organizers finally had some good news to deliver after one of Brazil's most troubled stadiums held an important test event without any major setbacks.

The test match at the delayed Arena da Baixada in the southern city of Curitiba was a step forward, local officials said Thursday.

There were some problems during the exhibition Wednesday between Corinthians and host Atletico Paranaense, with fans having difficulty getting into the venue. But organizers said that was expected because the stadium infrastructure remains unfinished.

"The pressure paid off after we had all the delays with construction work," said Ricardo Trade, CEO of the local World Cup organizing committee. "There are some adjustments to make, but everything went well."

The test match was held at Arena da Baixada despite seats still being installed and unfinished work outside the stadium.

Arena da Baixada is one of FIFA's main concerns ahead of the June 12 opener. It is one of the three stadiums yet to be completed, along with Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba and Itaquerao in Sao Paulo, which will feature the high-profile match between Brazil and Croatia.

Itaquerao will have its first official test with a Brazilian league match on Sunday.

The nearly 25,000 fans who attended Wednesday's match saw bulldozers parked outside and construction material piled up. There was heavy traffic and delays for those arriving at the stadium.

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