Six stadiums thrown open

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff took a swipe at the naysayers on Monday as she officially inaugurated the last of six stadiums that Brazil will use next month to host a warm-up for the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament.

"The pessimists said the stadiums would not be ready in time, but we are showing them today that we can deliver high-quality stadiums," Rousseff said in a speech in Recife before opening the 46,000-seat Arena Pernambuco outside the northeastern Brazilian city.

Rousseff said Brazil is fulfilling its commitments with global soccer body FIFA, whose secretary general Jerome Valcke last year angered Brazilians by saying the country needed a "kick up the backside" to get World Cup preparations moving.

On Saturday, Rousseff kicked the first symbolic ball on the newly-laid pitch of the brand new Mane Garrincha National Stadium in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia, where Brazil will face Japan in the first game of the eight-nation Confederations Cup on June 15.

At a cost 1.2 billion reais ($590.1 million), the colonnaded stadium is the most expensive of the 12 that Brazil is building for next year's 32-nation World Cup, and a prime candidate to become a white elephant in a city with no major soccer club.

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