Manaus added to proposed hosts for football at 2016 Olympics
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The jungle city of Manaus has been added to the list of proposed host cities for the Olympic soccer tournament at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The other venues, in addition to Rio, are Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Salvador and Brasilia. Each of those cities hosted matches during last year’s World Cup.
There were four World Cup matches in Manaus, a city almost 3,000 kilometers (1,800 miles) from Rio in the Amazon jungle. The Olympic matches are expected to be played at the 41,000-capacity Arena da Amazonia, which was built for the World Cup.
Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Salvador and Brasilia had already been selected in Rio’s bid, but there was a need to add another city to accommodate all matches in the men’s and women’s tournament.
“Now we will work with FIFA to make sure that these cities are approved,” said Jose Maria Marin, president of the Brazilian football confederation.
FIFA oversees the Olympic tournament and will have the final word on where the competition will be played.
The southern city of Porto Alegre and the northeastern city of Fortaleza also had indicated interest in hosting matches at the games.
The Olympic men’s tournament is played with under-23 squads but each team can include three players outside the age limit. There will 16 nations in the men’s tournament and 12 in the women’s.
Mexico beat Brazil to win the men’s gold at the 2012 London Games. The 2016 hosts have never won the Olympic soccer tournament.
The United States women’s team clinched its fourth Olympic title in London.