A German consumer group warns that several stadiums set to host World Cup matches later this year lack adequate fire safety measures and escape routes.
The Stiftung Warentest group said Tuesday that four of the stadiums, including Berlin's Olympic Stadium, are "substantially" unsafe, while eight others are deemed as "clearly" unsafe. The report describes a lack of sufficient escape routes that could result in a fatal crush if spectators panic during a match.
But the independent report was criticized by former Germany captain and coach Franz Beckenbauer. Beckenbauer, the president of the World Cup organizing committee, said Stiftung Warentest should stick to evaluating face creams, olive oil and vacuum cleaners, and that the group is using its report as a ploy to gain publicity.
And the committee's spokesman added the report created the false impression of urgent safety problems that require immediate attention.
Some information for this story provided by AP and AFP.