It’s confirmed. In addition to Rio de Janeiro, five other Brazilian cities will stage the 2016 Olympic Games and host the men’s and women’s football matches.
The 58 matches will be played in Belo Horizonte (Mineirão), Brasília (Estádio Mané Garrincha), Manaus (Arena Amazônia), Rio de Janeiro (Maracanã and the Olympic Stadium), Salvador (Arena Fonte Nova) and São Paulo (Arena Corinthians), totalling six cities and seven stadiums.
The official announcement was made after a meeting was held on Monday with the Olympic Committee of the International Association Football Federation in Zurich, Switzerland.
According to the president of Embratur (Brazilian Tourist Board), Vicente Neto, the expansion of the Olympic Games to include five more Brazilian destinations will strengthen the promotion of a variety of tourist attractions in the country and reinforce Brazil’s ability to receive tourists in the five regions.
“By increasing the range of destinations that will be visited by tourists during the sporting event, the Olympic Games and also the promotion of Brazil will be enriched.
“All of the cities chosen have already proved during the World Cup to be extremely capable of hosting large numbers of visitors.
“In addition, they are culturally rich and offer a wide range of tourist products that are typically Brazilian,” explained Neto.
The cities chosen have already hosted football matches during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
It is expected that the success of the World Cup will be repeated and that more foreigners will discover and be delighted by the Brazilian people’s hospitality which will strengthen Brazil’s position as an important tourist destination.
Football at the Olympic Games – In total, 16 teams will compete in the men’s competition and 12 in the women’s.
So far, Brazil has qualified as the host nation in both categories along with Argentina in the men’s tournament and Colombia in the women’s.
The other teams will be decided by April 2016 in the continental qualifying tournaments.
The men’s Olympic competition starts on August 4th with the final on August 20th in Maracanã.
The teams will be split into four groups with players up to the age of 23.
The women’s tournament begins on August 3rd and the winner will be known on August 19th in Maracanã.
The 12 teams will be split into three groups and there is no age limit for the players.