Brazil minister says Brasilia could open 2014 Cup

Brazil’s sports minister says the nation’s capital is making

good progress in its preparations for the 2014 World Cup, and might

even qualify to host the opening game of the tournament.

Orlando Silva had a news conference Monday after inspecting

Brasilia’s Estadio Nacional, known as Mane Garrincha. He said the

stadium’s refurbishing is about one-third completed, making the

capital a strong candidate to open the tournament.

Sao Paulo wants to host the opening match, but Silva said

Brazil’s biggest city is moving too slowly.

Last week the Sao Paulo municipal government approved a $269

million tax break to facilitate the building of a stadium for the

Corinthians soccer team, which will be used in the World Cup.

Brazil is hosting the World Cup for the first time since

1950.