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At Arena Corinthians Some Workers Play Football While Others Work
05/02/2014 - 09h38
FROM SÃO PAULO
Yesterday morning (1) the Arena Corinthians in São Paulo divided itself into three as it hosted the first match on the same field that will host the World Cup opener.
On the field, around 40 workers from Odebrecht, the stadium's official construction company, divided themselves into two teams and played two 20-minute long matches.
On the seating area behind the goalposts a similar number of workers carried on working intensely on an attempt to minimize the delays, 41 days away from the World Cup.
The two teams were watched by a group of around 4,000 people sat on the east section of the stadium. Staff as well as their relatives were present. They were all invited by Corinthians to watch the event on Labour Day.
The workers held one minute silence in tribute to three workers who died at the stadium - two in November and one in March - and to Ayrton Senna, the former F1 driver and Corinthians supporter to mark the 20th anniversary of his death.
In terms of construction works some problems have persisted, such as the unfinished coating at the top of the east and west buildings and the shortage of seats in some areas across all sections.
On the other hand, the finishing on the upper balconies on the west building has progressed in comparison to last week. The field has also been kept to a good level even following games.
The north section of the stadium is the one that is most behind schedule. The structure for the provisional seats has not yet been finished and it has the fewest seats installed.
The seating structure is expected to be finished by May 10th. On the 18th Corinthians will host Figueirense for the Brazilian championship on a trial event for Fifa.
Yesterday during a match between construction staff, the first goal to be ever scored at the arena was achieved by the civil engineer Luciano Ávila, 33. He was one of the Odebrecht staff to be randomly selected to play.
The opportunity of the goal arose from a play from the counter-attack. The engineer received the ball at the entrance to the area without being marked and finalized the shot as the goalkeeper left his position.
The most interesting revelation came after the goal. Ávila was a young player for Corinthians in 1997 but did not make it through to the main squad. He also tried becoming a player for Palmeiras, but did not succeed there either.
"I was 17 and had a few problems with injuries, so gave up. Scoring the goal here was a great feeling especially because I am a Corinthians supporter and for having been involved in the construction of the stadium", Ávila said while holding his two year old son Gabriel.
However, Ávila's team (wearing a black kit) was defeated. They lost 2-1 with goals by Fábio Mendes, the worker in charge of the field, and China, part of the security staff.
Translated by CRISTIANE COSTA LIMA
|The Arena Corinthians in São Paulo hosted the first match on the same field that will host the World Cup opener|