Maracanã to close for pitch repairs

Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanã stadium is to close for almost a month so that its pitch can be repaired.

The stadium’s operator, Maracanã SA, has confirmed that no games will be played at the venue from September 13 to October 9.

The stadium’s pitch is maintained by Greenleaf, which has said the surface has not been able to cope with the number of matches played at the Maracanã in recent weeks.

The Maracanã hosted the FIFA World Cup final in 1950 and 2014, and also staged matches during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Brazilian clubs Fluminense and Flamengo both play home matches at the stadium, and the former will be forced to find a new venue for four matches while it is closed. Flamengo is not scheduled to play any matches at the stadium in the coming month and will be unaffected by the closure.

Back in June, Flamengo reached an agreement to extend its stay at the Maracanã. The new two-year deal runs until December 31, 2020. From next year, Flamengo will play at least 25 games a year at the stadium and the club will be granted more freedom to add more of its imagery at the venue.

Image: Érica Ramalho/Governo do Rio de Janeiro