Maracana still not ready: Ronaldo

Rio de Janeiro, June 2 (IANS) Former Brazil striker Ronaldo admitted that the Maracana Stadium is not fully ready for Sunday’s Brazil-England friendly.

The match marks the reopening of the iconic venue after almost three years of refurbishment work costing more than $500 million, double the original budget, reports Xinhua.

“Maybe work surrounding the stadium will not be finished but there won’t be any problem for the Confederations Cup,” said the former Brazil star Saturday, now a member of the 2014 World Cup organising committee.

“For that reason we have insisted that the stadiums be completed by the agreed deadline, allowing for the necessary test events to take place.”

The Maracana’s exterior resembled a construction site Saturday despite assurances from organisers that work would be completed by April 27.

Refurbishment work was originally earmarked to end in December 2012 and has since overshot two deadline extensions set by world football’s governing body, FIFA.

A local judge suspended Sunday’s match less than 72 hours before its scheduled kickoff, citing the failure of Maracana officials to submit documents that guaranteed fans’ health and safety.

The court injunction was overturned Friday morning with Rio state government officials blaming the decision on a “bureaucratic error”.

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