Brazil’s preparations for the 2014 World Cup have hit yet another snag as officials confirmed on Tuesday that the opening of the Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha in Brasilia has been postponed until May 18, just eight days before the 72,000 capacity stadium is expected to hold the Brazilian league’s soldout opener between Santos and Flamengo.
The stadium was originally supposed to open on Sunday, but the contractors said that excessive rain prevented them from laying the field in time. "Without the grass it would be like opening a theater with no stage," Brasilia's World Cup secretary Claudio Monteiro told Reuters.
FIFA had requested that the stadium undergo two tests before being used as one of the venues for this summer’s 2013 Confederations’ Cup. The first was supposed to be the final of next month’s local championship, but due to the delay, it will miss that. The second is expected to be the Santos-Flamengo game.
Meanwhile, the Mane Garrincha is not the only stadium that is not ready for the Confederations Cup. The renovation of the Maracana is still being worked on, and is said to be even further behind schedule.