November 9 - All six venues slated to stage next year's Confederations Cup – the dress rehearsal for the 2014 World Cup – have now been confirmed by FIFA though some will face a race against time.
After weeks of deliberation, FIFA said Belo Horizonte, Brasília, Fortaleza, Recife, Rio de Janeiro (the city's Estádio do Maracanã pictured top) and Salvador would host matches in the eight-team tournament in June, even though some of the stadiums would not be ready until four months before the start.
Originally, FIFA said all venues had to be ready six months ahead of time but has relaxed the rules despite secretary general Jérôme Valcke saying last week that the stadiums had to be finished on time so that organisers could hold at least two test events.
Ever since Brazil was given the World Cup, to be held in 12 cities, FIFA has been worried about construction delays, travel issues and Brazilian law that calls for an alcohol ban in stadiums and ticket discounts for students and senior citizens.
Those same concerns have, in recent weeks, centred on the Confederations Cup, featuring the host nation plus the champions of FIFA's regional competitions.
FIFA have now taken a calculated gamble in hoping everything will be ready on time.
Only 71 per cent of Recife's Arena Pernambuco in Recife has been completed just eight months out from the tournament.
Some 830,000 tickets will be available for the 16 matches with the cheapest reserved for Brazilian residents.
Students and the elderly will receive a 50 per cent discount.
Italy, Japan, Mexico, Tahiti and Uruguay have all qualified to take part and will be joined by hosts Brazil, world champions Spain and the winners of January's African Nations Cup.
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