Fifa, football’s global governing body, has included Manaus in a confirmed list of cities that will host football games during the 2016 summer Olympic Games.
The organisation last month added Manaus to a list of potential host cities alongside Rio de Janeiro for football events at the Games. The men’s and women’s football tournaments, which will be the only events from the Games that will be staged outside of host city Rio, will comprise 58 games in six different cities.
Both the Olympic Stadium and the MaracanÃ£ in Rio de Janeiro will stage Olympic football matches, as will the AmazÃ´nia Arena in Manaus. SÃ£o Paulo’s Corinthians Arena, the ManÃ© Garrincha Stadium in BrasÃlia, Salvador’s Arena Fonte Nova and the MineirÃ£o in Belo Horizonte will also stage matches.
The MaracanÃ£, centrepiece of Brazil’s staging of the 2014 Fifa World Cup, will host the final games of both the men’s and women’s competitions. The final schedule will be determined in the coming days.
‘The inclusion of Manaus in the Rio 2016 Olympic schedule will enrich the tournament with a visit of the football players to one of the most iconic locations in the world,’ Rio 2016 and Brazilian Olympic Committee president Carlos Nuzman said.
‘I am certain that the Amazon will welcome the Olympic world with a memorable celebration.’
Speculation over the number of venues that would be used had arisen due to Fifa’s concerns over pitches not being able to withstand the demands of holding all the early round games. The governing body was said to be pressing for venues that were used during the World Cup last year to be utilised during the 2016 Games.
Marco Polo Del Nero, chairman of the organising committee for the Olympic football tournaments, added: ‘The Olympic football tournaments will be a fantastic opportunity to revive the great atmosphere seen during the 2014 Fifa World Cup, not only in Rio de Janeiro but also in the other five cities. They did an excellent job in 2014, and now they can use the World Cup stadiums and infrastructure already in place to unite the country for a major event once more. I am confident that the participating teams will have an unforgettable Olympic experience.’
London 2012 utilised Wembley Stadium, along with venues in Manchester, Newcastle, Coventry, Glasgow and Cardiff for its football competitions. Mexico defeated Brazil in the men’s final, while the United States took gold in the women’s final, defeating Japan.
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