The 46,000-capacity venue, officially called the João Havelange stadium, is due to host athletics at the 2016 Games and be a host stadium for football’s biggest show next year, but has been deemed by engineers to have structural problems with the roof that mean it could be dangerous in extreme wind and heat.
“There is a risk, so I have decided to close the stadium immediately,” Rio mayor, Eduardo Paes, has said.
He added the stadium wouldn’t open until it was fixed.
“If it takes a month, then it will stay closed for a month; if it takes a year, it will stay closed for a year.”
This is another blow to Brazil’s preparations for sport’s two biggest events, with the stadium due to host the World Cup final and the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies, Maracana stadium, also delayed.
Last year, one of the João Havelange building contractors, Delta, was linked to a bribery case involving an illegal gambling group.
The International Olympic Committee says it’s still confident Rio can handle the games.
“There are still more than three and a half years to go before the Games and we are absolutely confident that they will deliver,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams told the Associated Press.
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