Rio 2016 Stadium Closed Due to Safety Concerns but IOC Remain Confident

By iSportconnect | March 27, 2013

The stadium that will be used for athletic during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games has been shut down due to safety issues with the roof.

The Joao Havelange Stadium, or the Engenhao as it is known locally, was shut by the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes after builders informed him of structural problems with the roof.

Paes said: “I asked them if these problems posed a threat to fans and the answer was yes, depending on circumstances such as wind velocity and temperature.

“There was a risk so I decided to close the stadium immediately until we have more details about the solution that we will need.

“The stadium will stay closed for an undetermined period. If they give me a solution that will last a month, then it will stay closed for a month, if it takes a year, it will stay closed for a year.

“I will wait until a definitive solution if presented. We can’t play with something like this.”

Local Olympic organisers have played down fears that the stadium would affect preparations for the 2016 Games and the organising committee said: “The Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Organising Committee has full confidence that the city of Rio de Janeiro will take the necessary measures to guarantee that the Olympic Stadium is ready for the Games more than three years from now, as well as for the test events before them.”

IOC backing

The IOC has also offered their full support for the Rio 2016 organisers, saying they are ‘absolutely confident’ in Rio’s preparations for the Games.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams told The Associated Press: “there are still more than 3 1/2 years to go before the games and we are absolutely confident that they will deliver.”