Pandemonium. Confusion. Bemusement.
Call it what you will. That was all going on in Rio de Janiero last night.
England and Brazil were set to square off at the newly renovated Maracana Stadium this weekend, one of world soccer’s iconic venues.
But all the looked in jeopardy on Thursday, as a court order suspended the game amid safety fears.
But this morning, a judge overturned the decision citing that there was a “bureaucratic flaw” after paperwork signing off the renovation work at the stadium had not been sent to the appropriate local authorities.
The game will go ahead. Phew.
Panic over. However with pictures of flooding outside the stadium, a heavy presence from construction workers and plenty of work still to be done, should this showpiece friendly really go ahead?
It will be the first-time England have played at the Maracana since ’84, when Liverpool winger John Barnes wrote himself into English folklore with a mazy run across the pitch before slotting home. Here it is BTW.
The Maracana has fallen into disrepair throughout recent times, with the conditions worsening since Barnes scored that wonder goal in those short-shorts. But the extensive renovation work will see it become the jewel in the crown of Brazil 2014.
That was the plan, anyway.
However reports of uneven flooring with small gaps and holes, flooding across a VIP area and an elevator that doesn’t work, has led to officials trying to stop journalists taking pictures of the famous stadium.
With the game going ahead on Sunday, it is sure to be an incredible occasion between two of world soccer’s biggest rivals. But question marks are already lingering as to whether or not Brazil is ready to host the Confederations Cup later this summer.
Better get a shift on with that drill, lads.