IOC: Rio organizers need sharper focus

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IOC: Rio organizers need sharper focus

RIO DE JANEIRO - IOC inspectors have seen “strong, solid progress’’ but think organizers need a sharper focus in the countdown to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The IOC coordination commission, headed by former Olympic hurdles champion Nawal el-Moutawakel, finished a two-day inspection visit on Monday and seemed to take a stronger tone than on its previous four visits.

El-Moutawakel said she was confident the Games would provide a lasting legacy, but warned about delays in starting construction on one of the four main venue areas - the Deodoro area in a rundown part of northern Rio de Janeiro.

El-Moutawakel and Gilbert Felli, IOC executive director, responded to questions about the possibility of protests at the Games. Protests took place almost every day at the recent Confederations Cup - a warm-up for next year’s football World Cup in Brazil. Demonstrators took to the streets with complaints about spending billions on mega-events such as the Olympics and World Cup in a country with poor public services and large economic inequality.

Brazil is spending about $13.3 billion of largely public money on the World Cup. Public spending on the Games could be similar to that of the World Cup - or higher. AP
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