Fifa unaware of structural damage to Cuiaba World Cup stadium

The world game's governing body says it will look into reports that the effects of a fire at the venue in October "could compromise the overall stability of the construction"
Fifa has launched an investigation into reports that the Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba suffered structural damage that could throw its hosting of World Cup games into doubt.

Reuters claimed on Saturday that it had been handed an 18-page report prepared by the Mato Grosso state public ministry in the wake of a fire at the stadium on October 25, 2013. The document explained that there had been structural damage to the venue which "could compromise the overall stability of the construction".

However, Fifa says it has no knowledge of the apparent damage and is vowing to launch a thorough investigation of the claims.

"Fifa and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) have asked the host city for a report and also the FIFA/LOC technical team to double-check these allegations," a Fifa spokesperson told Goal.

"However, neither Fifa nor the LOC were aware of such information. To our knowledge, including recent inspection reports from our technical stadium experts, only insulation material, piping, electrical cabling, pathways and switchboards, etc were damaged as a result of the fire, and that these installations and materials were being replaced along with other components in the affected areas."

The Arena Pantanal is one of a number of World Cup stadiums still under construction in Brazil despite the handover deadline of December 31, 2013 having passed.

The ground is due to play host to group matches involving Chile, Australia, Russia, South Korea, Nigeria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Japan and Colombia during the finals, with the first game scheduled for June 13.

Accidents during construction at various World Cup venues have resulted in the death of six workers and extensive delays, with Fifa set to make an announcement this Tuesday regarding the readiness of the Arena de Baxaida in Curitiba.

There is widespread speculation that the stadium could be stripped of its World Cup games as a result of continuing construction issues.