IOC tells Brazil to speed up pace of 2016 planning

Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:00pm EDT
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By Pedro Fonseca and Rodrigo Viga Gaier

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Olympic officials wrapped up a three-day visit on Friday by warning that more haste was needed in deciding which branches of government must plan and pay for the 2016 event and related infrastructure.

Brazilian organizers have so far budgeted for 24 of the 52 projects that will be built for the Games and the cost is already at 44 percent of the original estimate.

Federal authorities and Olympic organizers meet in Brasilia on Thursday to discuss the Responsibility Matrix, the document outlining the funding for each Games-related project, said International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission officials on their sixth visit to the host city.

"It's crucial because the different partners have not yet agreed on the Responsibility Matrix and what will be down to federal, municipal and state governments," said Gilbert Felli, the IOC's director general of the Olympics.

"Some points of the Responsibility Matrix need to be decided and that can have an impact on timings and procedures."

In one example of the slow preparations, the Deodoro Sporting complex that will host nine events was originally supposed to be funded by the federal government.

However, responsibility was passed to the state government which then passed it to the city of Rio.

Work has yet to start on the complex but Felli said there was still time to avoid a repeat of the late rush that is going on as Brazil attempts to complete its football stadiums in time for the World Cup in June.   Continued...

Gilbert Felli, International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Director for the Olympic Games, speaks during a news conference in Istanbul March 27, 2013. REUTERS/Murad Sezer