Maracana needs new roof

Maracana needs a new roof before the 2014 World Cup, possibly

delaying the stadium’s readiness by a year to 2013.

The stadium was expected to be ready by the end of 2012, but

Brazilian football federation president Ricardo Teixeira told local

channel SporTV that it possibly won’t be in shape before 2013. He

said the goal remains to have Maracana prepared for that year’s

Confederations Cup.

Maracana will host the World Cup final, just as it did when

Brazil organized the tournament for the only other time in

1950.

The stadium hasn’t been used since last September because of the

renovations.

Teixeira said late Wednesday that a new roof was necessary

because of ”unexpected” problems with the current roof.

In January, Rio de Janeiro city officials found deterioration in

some materials used in the roof’s structure, but at the time there

wasn’t enough evidence to confirm it was compromised. The full

extent of the problem was discovered after a study by the city

department in charge of revitalizing the venue.

According to Teixeira, engineers said it was easier to build a

new roof than to fix it. The initial project included keeping the

original roof.

It wasn’t announced how the changes would affect the renovation

cost, which originally was estimated at about $430 million. Some

local media reports said it could surpass $600 million now.

Maracana underwent extensive renovation in 2005 to make it ready

for the 2007 Pan American Games hosted by Rio de Janeiro.

Teixeira’s announcement of problems with Maracana’s roof came

just days after FIFA President Sepp Blatter criticized Brazil’s

preparations for the 2014 World Cup. He urged officials to speed up

construction work for the monthlong tournament, including at

stadiums.

Teixeira denounced Blatter’s criticism on Wednesday, but

acknowledged that some host cities were facing difficulties.

”We have problems in Sao Paulo and Natal because the stadiums

there haven’t started being built yet,” Teixeira said.

The stadium in Sao Paulo is expected to host the opening

match.

Teixeira also said the lack of upgrades in the country’s

outdated airports remains a big concern, but added the government

was aware of the difficulties and was working to solve the

problems.