Brazil minister says Brasilia could open 2014 Cup



RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — 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.