The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
FIFA downplays partial test event at Sao Paulo stadium hosting World Cup opener
SAO PAULO - FIFA and Brazilian organizers are downplaying the fact that the final test event at the stadium hosting the World Cup opener won't be held with a capacity crowd.
Only 40,000 people will be allowed at the Itaquerao for a Brazilian league match on Sunday, meaning that organizers will not be able to fully test the stadium before the inaugural match between Brazil and Croatia on June 12.
Only some of the 20,000 temporary seats installed for the opener will be used because of safety concerns raised by local authorities.
FIFA and the local World Cup organizing committee said that "ideally" they would have preferred to have a full crowd on Sunday, but noted that the test event will still be "extremely important" to help making sure the stadium is ready.
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