Rio de Janeiro government hits back as judge suspends Brazil v England friendly

A court decision had ruled that the Maracana stadium is unsuitable to hold Sunday's game, only for the state government to insist pre-match requirements have been fully met
Rio de Janeiro state government and the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) have hit back after a judge suspended Sunday's friendly between England and Brazil due to safety concerns at the Maracana stadium.

A court decision ruled that the match cannot go ahead over fears that the iconic venue, which has been refurbished ahead of next year's World Cup, has not met the requisite safety requirements to hold a major event.

"At this moment we have no news that the restrictions were amended to a level of safety that would be expected at this stage," Judge Adriana Costa dos Santos said in a statement.

"Therefore, due to the laziness of the people responsible, we cannot allow the stadium to be re-inaugurated without proof that it is safe and hygienic."

A number of reports required for the stadium to be re-opened were missing, according to Dos Santos, but the Rio de Janeiro state government quickly released a statement of their own claiming that all pre-match paperwork is in order, but had not reached the relevant offices in time.

"All the safety requirements for the friendly match between Brazil and England have been met and, due to a bureaucratic misunderstanding, the police report that assures that all the safety rules have been fulfilled was not delivered to SUDERJ [a public organisation that administrates the stadium]," their statement read.

Although the CBF have not made an official communication of their own, they are in agreement with the city's government, are satisfied that the stadium is safe and are confident that the game will go ahead as planned.