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Rio shut out of World Cup qualifiers after Maracana disputes



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SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil's soccer confederation says the country will complete its World Cup qualifying schedule without playing a single match in Rio de Janeiro, site of the 2014 World Cup final at the famed Maracana stadium.

The CBF said Wednesday that Brazil's final qualifier will be Oct. 10 in Sao Paulo against Chile. The five-time World Cup champions have already qualified for next year's World Cup in Russia.

The Maracana stadium has been infrequently used since last year's Olympics as the state of Rio de Janeiro — the stadium owner — local clubs, and the stadium operator have battled over unpaid bills and control of the venue.

The state of Rio de Janeiro is reported to have spent about 1.3 billion reals ($400 million) to renovate the stadium for the World Cup.

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The Associated Press

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