IOC says Rio report encouraging but vigilance needed

Wed Jul 9, 2014 11:37am EDT
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By Stephanie Nebehay

LAUSANNE Switzerland (Reuters) - Brazil has presented an "encouraging report" about preparations for the 2016 Rio Games but vigilance is needed to ensure venues are ready, the International Olympic Committee said on Wednesday.

IOC President Thomas Bach, who was heading to Rio for the World Cup final and talks with officials including President Dilma Rousseff, also said the IOC would review its ticketing procedures in the light of an unfolding FIFA scandal.

He was speaking to a news conference after Rio organizing committee president Carlos Arthur Nuzman presented a report to the IOC's executive board three-day meeting in Lausanne.

"We can really see that there is great dynamism there in the preparations, in particular the city of Rio de Janeiro where the mayor and governor have taken action on the government side and are making progress with regard to different venues," Bach said.

"We are very confident that their World Cup is encouraging. We are very confident that we will have a great Games in Rio de Janeiro and that the sports-loving Brazilians with all their enthusiasm will be wonderful hosts for the athletes and all the participants."

He added: "It was altogether an encouraging report. Also at the same time indicating that we have to stay vigilant and there is still no time to lose. But you really feel the determination and enthusiasm of the Organizing Committee and their partners."

Bach said it was important to maintain the momentum to prepare venues in time, and for test events which will start later this year.

"This is the major issue to address now, to be in time to respect the schedule for the venues and do so of course in close collaboration," he said.   Continued...

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach speaks during a news conference after a three-day executive board meeting in Lausanne July 9, 2014. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse