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Brazil: Rio Olympic Games sites finally closed to the public - France 24

2020-01-18T01:58:05.541Z

Brazil: Rio Olympic Games sites finally closed to the public



Brasilia (AFP)

The municipality of Rio de Janeiro finally announced Friday that it had decided to close the Olympic facilities for the Rio-2016 Games after a court decision giving it the order, within 48 hours Thursday.

This closure has been effective since 4:44 p.m. local time (7:44 p.m. GMT), the town hall said in a press release, without further details.

However, the latter had appealed Friday against this decision taken by a judge "to preserve the security of the population", because of the "shows and concerts" which are regularly organized there. In particular, the Rio Olympic Park hosted the mega Rock in Rio festival at the end of September, which brought together more than 700,000 people over seven days of concerts.

In his decision, which was consulted by AFP, the judge responded favorably to a request from the federal prosecutor's office in Rio to ban the holding of events in the Olympic facilities until the town hall presented the security certificates guaranteeing their proper functioning.

The measure affects in particular the Olympic Park of Barra da Tijuca, lung of the Olympic Games in a tourist area in the west of Rio where are among others the multisport arenas, the tennis center and the velodrome.

It also concerns the region of Deodoro, a popular district 40 kilometers north of Copacabana which had hosted disciplines such as horse riding, rugby, field hockey and canoeing.

Prosecutor Leandro Mitidieri, in charge of the case at the Federal Prosecutor's Office in Rio, notably pointed out that the installations never obtained the proper licenses which should have been issued at the end of the site.

"There was only a succession of provisional licenses. It is not possible that this situation has lasted for more than three years," the prosecutor said Thursday at a press conference.

"We have to put an end to this culture which means that we can leave facilities to operate precariously, with provisional licenses, until there is a tragedy," he added.

The prosecutor was referring to the death in February 2019 of ten young players from the training center of the Flamengo football club during the fire in the prefabricated housing.

The infrastructure of the 2016 Games, the first ever held in South America, had been sharply criticized for its staggering cost, around 12.5 billion dollars (11.2 billion euros), and the corruption scandals that surrounded the sites.

© 2020 AFP

Source: france24

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