Stadium Blues For Brazil's World Cup
04 February 2013
The Mineiro Stadium in Belo Horizonte may be where football royalty can be found, in the form of Atletico Mineiro star Ronaldinho.
But according to its critics, the stadium is not even fit for the hoi polloi.
The refurbished Mineiro Stadium was officially reopened on Sunday, in readiness for the 2013 Confederations Cup.
The stadium will host a number of matches at the pre-World Cup trial run event, including one of the semi-finals. It is also earmarked to host matches at the 2014 World Cup.
However, at its grand opening- a match between local rivals Atletico Mineiro and Cruzeiro- the Mineiro hardly covered itself in glory.
The fans who had attended Cruzeiro’s 2-1 win on a piping hot day left the stadium fuming, complaining that Brazil still has a long way to go until it is ready to host an efficient and successful Confederations Cup, let alone a World Cup.
According to reports, major traffic congestion at the approach to the stadium made arriving and departing a nightmare.
There was also a lack of food and drinking water for sale at the stadium leaving fans hungry, and some of the bathrooms were left in darkness, leaving fans busting for a you-know-what.
Supporters also complained that fans from the cheap seats were able to skirt the seating divisions, and occupy the premium seats they had not paid for.
“This is embarrassing, it was hell getting inside without the correct information,” one fan lamented, according to O Globo.
Brazil has suffered from the same kind of pre-World Cup pessimism that South Africa did, before putting on a slick and secure African World Cup.
But with time running out before the highly anticipated World Cup in Samba country, it seems Brazil still has much to do to smooth out its deficiencies.