Football: Rain delays Confed Cup stadium opening

The Brasilia stadium set to host 2013 Confederations Cup games in June will not be ready until next month after heavy rainfall delayed the laying of the pitch, authorities said.

Federal District Governor Agnelo Queiroz said in a statement issued late Monday that the inauguration of the 71,000-seat Mane Garrincha national stadium, initially set for Sunday, would now take place May 18, with the final of a regional league that will serve as a test event.

A second match ahead of the Confed Cup, a dress rehearsal for next year's World Cup, is planned for May 26 to ensure smooth crowd management and security arrangements.

Only last week, Queiroz pledged that the city's stadium, rebuilt at a cost of $500 million, would offer optimal conditions to host the World Cup and would be totally ready for the Confederations Cup.

World football governing body FIFA had already warned that all preparations for the six stadiums hosting the Confed Cup "would not be completed 100 percent".

Still under construction along with Brasilia is Rio's iconic Maracana arena, where the World Cup final is to be played and which will be completed on April 27.

The stadium of the northeastern city of Recife was completed Sunday and it is due to be inaugurated next month.

The June 15-30 Confederations Cup is being staged in six Brazilian cities. The eight contenders are Brazil, Spain, Mexico, Uruguay, Japan, Italy, Nigeria and Tahiti.