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Soccer-Corinthians arrange test game at Arena ahead of World Cup

Reuters

(Repeats removing extra word in first para)

By Andrew Downie

SAO PAULO, May 20 (Reuters) - Corinthians have hastily arranged a second league game at their stadium later this month after FIFA said it wanted to test the venue with a bigger crowd ahead of the World Cup's opening match there in June.

Corinthians are to play Cruzeiro at the Arena Corinthians on May 29, just two weeks before the stadium hosts the opening game in Group A between Brazil and Croatia, the club said.

The game "will count on the operation and services of some aspects of a FIFA World Cup match," a statement on the Corinthians website (www.corinthians.com/br) said.

Corinthians lost 1-0 at home to Figueirense at the Arena Corinthians on Sunday in front of 36,000 paying fans in the first official game to be held at the ground.

FIFA, however, expressed concern that the stadium was still incomplete and wants to see another game.

"Arena de Sao Paulo still needs 100 per cent from everybody to guarantee necessary structures are in place for opener," FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said on Twitter.

"A test event does not compare to the scale, needs and global attention of the opening match of the World Cup.

"The opening World Cup match attracts 65,000+ watching live in the stadium and a billion on TV. 24 Days to Go."

Seats and other temporary structures for sponsors, broadcasters and fans have yet to be installed at the Arena Corinthians and the Cuiaba and Curitiba stadiums. (Editing by Julien Pretot)

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