BRASILIA: The warning words of FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke are echoing ever after organisers of the Confederations Cup admitted to a new delay in delivery of the Brasilia stadium due to host the Opening Match writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

The new, revised date proposed now is May 18 after the laying of the pitch in the Mane Garrincha venue was delayed by heavy rain.

In an understatement, Brasilia’s World Cup secretary Claudio Monteiro told local media: “Without the grass it would be like opening a theatre with no stage.”

Last week Valcke, FIFA’s progress-chaser, warned that Brazil’s organisers would be cutting corners for the Confederations Cup in a manner which would be unacceptable for the World Cup next year.

Brazil’s state President Dilma Rousseff had been scheduled to attend on Sunday to open the 72,000-capacity National Stadium where Brazil are due to play Japan in the Confed Cup opener on June 15.

Also problematic is a delivery date for the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro where the Confederations Cup final will be played.

The first of two scheduled test events demanded by FIFA and local safely officials is a match between two local teams before a crowd limited to a maximum of 30,000.

Opening fixture

The second test would be a full-capacity 72,000 on May 26 when Santos, with South American footballer of the year Neymar, play Flamengo in the opening fixture of the 2013 national championship.

The $500 million arena is the most expensive of the 12 venues that will host the World Cup.

Maracana was supposed to have been ready in December but now the earliest it will be handed over to FIFA is April 27. The opening international match is between Brazil and England on June 2.

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