Brazil prosecutors begin probe of World Cup stadium’s safety

CUIABA, Brazil, (Reuters) – Prosecutors yesterday began their evaluation of whether a World Cup stadium in Cuiab?, Brazil, is safe following an October fire there.

They said they did not expect to deliver a verdict until at least the end of the month.

Federal prosecutor Bianca de Britto led a group of engineers inspecting the unfinished Arena Pantanal, one of 12 Brazilian stadiums due to host games of the soccer tournament that opens on June 12.

Reuters reported on Saturday that the stadium suffered “structural damage” in the Oct. 25 fire, according to a previously undisclosed 18-page report prepared in December by the Mato Grosso state Public Ministry, an independent judicial body.

State government officials have said damage was much more limited than the Public Ministry described, and it has since been repaired. The secretary general of world soccer body FIFA, Jerome Valcke, said on Tuesday that, following an independent consultant’s visit, he is convinced the facility is safe.

However, Britto said data provided so far by the stadium’s builders is “not conclusive in terms of confirming the Arena Pantanal’s safety.”

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