Success of World Cup leaves us “more relaxed” about Rio 2016 but “not satisfied” – Sheikh Ahmad

 

The success of the recent FIFA World Cup has left the Olympic Movement “more relaxed” about prospects for its own flagship event, which Brazil is also hosting, according to one of its most influential leaders.

But, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah told insidethegames in an exclusive interview, the Movement was still not completely satisfied.

Interviewed in Lausanne ahead of the Olympic Summit, in which he participated along with 15 other key decision-makers, the President of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) said the Movement was now “not satisfied, but more relaxed” about the outlook for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

He went on: “More relaxed because we think our Games will be in one city and this will be easier…

“We are more comfortable now.”

Worries about the rate of progress in preparations for South America’s first Olympics in two years’ time reached a peak in April when John Coates, a respected International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice-president, described them as “the worst I have experienced”.

Concerns were damped down slightly after Coates later softened his stance.

Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, pictured with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, is more confident about Rio 2016 following the FIFA World Cup but warned they are still “not satisfied” about th

Nonetheless, it has taken an action-packed and largely problem-free World Cup to silence the vast and ambitious nation’s many critics – at least for the time being.

Commenting appreciatively on the full stadia and exciting matches that characterised the tournament, Sheikh Ahmad also underlined the importance of the experience Brazil has acquired as a result of hosting the month-long event.

“This is very important,” he said.

“Brazil had experience before of this kind of big event – it’s not the first time.

“But not this generation.

“This generation has now been educated by this World Cup.

“Following this we will have people who have experience of big events.

“We are more comfortable now.”

Sheikh Ahmad made the comments in the course of a wide-ranging interview in the Olympic capital before the ANOC Executive Council meeting.

A full account of the interview can be accessed here.

 

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