RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff is considering scrapping the Olympic Public Authority which is in charge of delivering the Games set-up in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The APO was modelled on the 2012 London Games’ Olympic Delivery Authority whose composition and focus so impressed Brazilian NOC president Carlos Arthur Nuzman.
However concerns had been building over the pace of progress – or lack of it – with preparations. This has gone comparatively unnoticed, in the shadow of the fuss over work ahead of the World Cup which all of Brazil is hosting in less than one year’s time.
The role of the APO came under critical scrutiny last week after Marcio Fortes resigned as president in frustration at the obstacles being put in his way.
Fortes had been an urban development minister under Rousseff’s predecessor, President Lula.
One of the heavyweight critics of the APO is the Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes who is concerned at the sums being demanded by the project from his own city rather than from the federal government.
Paes has also insisted to President Rousseff that the PDB is an unnecessary extra impediment to preparations on top of the three existing layers of government – federal, state and city.
The opposition of both Paes and Rio state governor Sérgio Cabral Filho has been put before Rousseff by her chief of staff, Gleisi Hoffmann and Sport Minister Aldo Rebelo. A decision is expected before the IOC’s coordination commission returns to Rio to check on progress on September 1 and 2.
The commission is headed up by IOC vice-president Nawal El Moutawakel. Commission member Alexander Popov has spoken out over Rio’s tardiness. Two weeks ago the former Olympic champion swimmer said: “There are already red lights up ahead . . . the main concern is when will people get down to work?”
The APO was created in 2011, two years after Rio was awarded the Games, to coordinate the contributions of the three levels of government in the planning and delivery of the Games.
Earlier this week Paes said: “The three of us already have a good relationship. Each of us takes care of our own responsibility. I will not hand over my duties to other people because, if I did that, that people in the street would want me out.”