SPORT

Rio 2016 Olympic Stadium Closed Indefinitely (PICTURES)

28/03/2013 07:51 GMT

The stadium which will host the athletics at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro has been closed for an indefinite period due to safety concerns about its roof.

Authorities in the Brazilian city say repairs are needed to a structural problem that poses a risk to spectators.

The Joao Havelange stadium, which was built six years ago, is scheduled to host athletics events but the opening and closing ceremonies are to take place at the Maracana stadium.

Rio mayor Eduardo Paes told media at a news conference: "I asked if these problems posed a risk to spectators and was told 'yes,' depending on factors such as wind speed and temperature.

"There is a risk, so I have decided to close the stadium immediately.

"The stadium will stay closed for an indefinite period until a solution is found.

"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."