Why the legendary Maracana now looks like a ghost stadium

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It is one of the most famous stadiums in the world and was a showpiece venue for the Rio Olympics, but six months on from the Summer Games the iconic Maracana looks more ghostly than glitzy.

The usual bustle of rowdy football fans is nowhere to be seen. Daily tours to the world-renowned landmark have been suspended and trouble in the area has been on the rise.

Violent robberies and vandalism have been reported nearby and, despite the stadium’s padlocked gates, a recent break-in led to the loss of expensive equipment and precious memorabilia, including a bust of late journalist Mario Filho, whom the stadium is named after.

A series of legal battles and abandonment have left the once glorious Maracana in a state of total decay and as Rio de Janeiro kicks off one of the state’s main seasonal cups, it is unclear whether the stadium will be able to host matches for this, or any, upcoming tournament.

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