POSTED: January 13th 2011

IOC happy World Cup work will help keep Rio up to speed for 2016

Rio de Janeiro: World Cup Final in 2014, Olympic Games in 2016 / lake images
Rio de Janeiro: World Cup Final in 2014, Olympic Games in 2016 / lake images

KEIR RADNEDGE in Lausanne / Sports Features Communication

LAUSANNE, Jan 14: The scheduling juxtaposition of World Cup and Olympic Games should have proved a distinct advantage when the Olympic movement lands in Rio de Janeiro in the summer of 2016.

The Brazilian authorities are starting to come under significant pressure from world football federation FIFA to step up the pace of construction for the 2014 World Cup with not only stadia but airports a particular concern.

That latter issue is a helpful one for the IOC according to Gilbert Felli, its Olympic Games executive director. The size of Brazil means that airport infrastructure will be crucial to the operation of the World Cup in 2014 - more so than in any previous finals tournament.

Felli, asked about Rio preparations after an IOC executive board meeting, said here in Lausanne: “Airports are always a concern and it’s true that the service level at the airports in Rio are not at the level expected. However we will have had the World Cup there in 2014 so they will have had to make a big effort for that already so we will have no worries for the Olympic Games.”

IOC visit

President Jacques Rogge, Felli and other IOC officials visited Rio over the new year. Felli said: “We had a good launch of the Rio Games logo on December 31 and met the new President of Brazil [Dilma Rousseff] and were reassured about the support of central government for the commitments made during the bid and that was good to hear.

"We had a lot of meetings with the mayor and governor and we are happy where they are today. However Rio is more complicated than Sochi [host of the 2014 winter Games] on the construction side because a lot of commitment were made during the bid but the enthusiasm is much bigger and they have a new project for transport which is excellent in terms of legacy and the social aspect.

"There is more work to do and for us to try to understand how the full project will be managed but the legacy in Rio is going to be of a very high level.”

On the World Cup stadium front, local government and sports officials in Sao Paulo are still hoping that yet another proposal for a new stadium will persuade FIFA to host the 2014 Opening Match in the city.

Keywords · 2014 World Cup · 2016 Olympic Games · Rio de Janeiro · Rogge · Felli · airports · Sao Paulo

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