Brasilia's World Cup stadium on track, says FIFA

Rio de Janeiro, May 4 (IANS) FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke hoped that Brasilia's Estadio Nacional World Cup stadium would be ready in time for its scheduled May 18 opening.

The 70,000-seat venue was last month given a third deadline extension by football's governing body after local organizers blamed rain for halting the final phase of construction, reports Xinhua.

According to Valcke, the stadium, which will host the opening match of the Confederations Cup June 15, has now had its playing surface laid and seats installed.

"The venue is taking shape and will host the first test event on May 18," Valcke said in a FIFA statement. "This is very late, but essential."

The 52-year-old added he would inspect the Estadio Nacional along with local organising committee members and government officials May 14.

The Confederations Cup, considered an organizational warm-up for the World Cup, will be played at six refurbished stadiums that will also be used at the World Cup.

Valcke said the other five venues - in Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Fortaleza, Belo Horizonte and Recife - were now "fully operational" after also experiencing delays.


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