1. ITV Report

Pressure mounts on next Olympic host city

The IOC says the organisers of Rio 2016 need to make "a number of important decisions" to avoid "further significant delays". Photo: REUTERS/Bruno Domingos

When London 2012 passed the baton to Rio 2016, seasoned Olympic watchers wondered how long it would take for the next host city to mess-up.

Today's carefully-worded statement from the International Olympic Committee suggests all is not well with the preparations for the next summer games.

The IOC is famously reluctant to publicly criticise a games organiser. So this damning verdict is all the more extraordinary.

The Olympic Park is still under construction Credit: AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo

It follows a visit to Rio de Janeiro by the all-powerful IOC Coordination Commission led by former Moroccan Olympic athlete Nawal El Moutawakel.

El Moutawakel said progress was being made but "each decision that is being made and each subsequent delay will have a negative impact on delivery.

"Total focus and dedication are therefore required."

The IOC said the organisers of Rio 2016 needed to make "a number of important decisions" to avoid "further significant delays in the delivery of the project".

IOC officials and the organisers of Rio's 2016 Games listen to Rio's mayor (R) during a visit to the Olympic Park Credit: REUTERS/Lucas Landau

The IOC said it was sending a clear message to Rio "that every second counts".

The last time the IOC questioned a host city's preparations was in the run-up to the Athens games in 2004.