President Dilma Rousseff nominated a senior army officer to fill one of the top roles in organizing the 2016 summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Major General Fernando Azevedo e Silva’s appointment to head the Olympic Public Authority, which coordinates the work of state and local governments, has gone to Brazil’s senate to be ratified, the nation’s official gazette said.
Rio’s faltering Olympic program was hurt in August when the former head of the authority, ex-cities minister Marcio Fortes, quit amid claims the organization was being sidelined. The appointment of a new head for the body, known as the APO, is among several issues faced by organizers of South America’s first Olympic Games.
Last week Brazil’s national auditor raised concerns about the possibility of delays when it reported that just 5.5% of the 1.67 billion Reais (752 million dollars) estimated to be spent on the games between 2010 and 2012 had actually been used.
International Olympic Committee inspectors visited Rio at the end of August and left telling organizers they were worried about progress on some of the planned projects. Brazil, which also hosts next year’s soccer World Cup, said it would spend 11.6 billion dollars on Olympic-related infrastructure and about 3 billion on the event itself, according to its 2009 bid.
Azevedo e Silva has been chairman of the Military Sports Commission of Brazil since 2012. His role at the APO will be to ensure that work is rolled out efficiently.