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SBD Global/August 23, 2013/International Football

Rio Mayor Says Shouldering Too Much Of Responsibility For 2016 Olympic Games

Rio de Janeio Mayor Eduardo Paes waves the Olympic flag during the 2012 London Olympics Closing Ceremony.

Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes said that "it is a shame" his city will host the 2016 Olympics because Brazil "lacks a sports policy," according to the BBC. Paes said that "his city should not pay for high performance athletes." Paes said, "That is the role of the federal government." However, the mayor said that "the Olympic Games would be good for the city because of the infrastructure that was being built." Paes: "Rio will have to look after the legacy of infrastructure. But it's unclear who will run the sports centres after the Olympics." A year before Brazil hosts the football World Cup, he was also critical of FIFA, complaining "they only care about stadiums" (BBC, 8/21).

FIFA FOCUS: BLOOMBERG's Biller & Goodman wrote FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke "dismissed criticism" from Paes over FIFA's focus on stadium readiness for next year's World Cup. Valcke said, "If he hasn't yet understood what is the legacy of the World Cup, I'm speechless. Maybe he should just look at the Olympic Games and just forget about the World Cup." Valcke said that the lesson FIFA has learned from Brazil is that "the organization should require national approval before analyzing a bid to host international sport's most watched-event." The organization "may ask countries to submit their bids to host the 2026 World Cup for approval by their legislatures" (BLOOMBERG, 8/22).

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