Football: Confusion over what's where at opening stadium

SAO PAULO - Less than 24 hours from kick off at the World Cup, there was no shortage of confusion over what's where at the much-delayed Corinthians Arena staging Thursday's game between Brazil and Croatia.

Cleaners furiously sought to make the new stadium spick and span while journalists battled temperamental internet conections as they fine-tuned preparations of their own.

But as the hundreds-strong press corps reconnoitring how to get to the press conference where Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari and company will hold forth after the game, it was clear several logistical kinks still have to be ironed out.

Facing full elevators, some reporters asked where the stairs were.

"I can't help you," came the response from one of the 1,400 volunteers at the 62,000-capacity stadium.

Another volunteer indicated a route via an eating area replete with wooden crates and beyond a glass door dirty from construction work which has been going on right up to the final hours before the game.

Another volunteer, in response to the whereabouts of the press conference room, said "I think you go up that stairwell." It transpired he was mistaken. Instead, the suggested route led to a VIP area where hundreds of cleaners were busy decorating ahead of Thursday's 2000 GMT kickoff.

The same question to a worker there brought a gruff answer.

"If I knew, I'd tell you - but I don't." Three people asked - but none able to come up with the answer.

Another volunteer, Andrea, was leading a group of five photographers in the general direction of their goal.

"I thought it was via this stairwell but it turns out it doesn't go down to the first floor because it's a restricted area," said Andrea.

"I know there are a few things to sort out - it's the first day, it's been a disaster." Those who dod make it to the elevators were packed in like sardines.

"It reminds me of the metro," chortles a cleaner looking on as the reporters try to cram inside before the doors close.