Rio safest venue for 2012, says mayor
Tuesday 04 May 2004
Fears of terrorism in rival candidate cities could narrow the competition to host the 2012 Olympics to Paris and Rio de Janeiro, the Brazilian city's mayor said.
The Rio mayor, Cesar Maia, said the bids of New York and London would not worry him due to terrorism fears and added: "Just think of the news of the existence of the development of a chemical weapon in England for the use with a massive impact."
He also maintained that the likelihood of George W Bush being re-elected as the United States president would weigh heavily against a bid. On 18 May, the International Olympic Committee will decide whether to accept all nine cities currently bidding for the 2012 Games or reduce the field before its final decision on 6 July 2005. Other contenders include Havana, Moscow and the German city Leipzig.
Rio is bidding for the second time, after being passed over for the 2004 Olympics. Maia brushed away concerns that chronic drug-gang related violence could endanger his city's chances. "International specialists that have come here are absolutely calm," Maia said. "Our weak point [urban violence] cannot be compared with that of the first world, which is terrorism."
Meanwhile, next month's torch relay through Melbourne is in doubt because Greek officials are insisting on flying in their own security force. Only Australian citizens and residents can be licensed to carry out security roles, but the Athens Olympic Committee refuses to budge.
Australia's senior International Olympic Committee member, Kevan Gosper, said he would call on the IOC president, Jacques Rogge, to intervene.
Latest in Sport
Cristiano Ronaldo: Unhappy forward is ready to quit Real Madrid, according to Angel Di Maria
Tim Wiese offered WWE role after German goalkeeper packs on muscle
Champions League: Liverpool vs Ludogorets Razgrad match preview
Hull City vs West Ham match report: Enner Valencia stars as honours shared at the KC Stadium
Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United: Ramon Calderon claims Real Madrid star is 'fed up'
- 1 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 2 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 4 John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior QA Engineer (Agil...
£26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Executive (SEO, PP...
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our retail client ...
£400 - £450 Per Annum possibly more for the right candidate: Clearwater People...