LONDON, England ● The Joao Havelange stadium will not be renamed for the Rio 2016 Olympics despite protests by campaigners who want all traces of the disgraced Brazilian sports official erased, the head of the organising committee said on Friday.
“Havelange is a historical icon in Brazilian sport,” Rio 2016 Olympic Games chief Leonardo Gryner told reporters at the London Olympics, praising his contribution to both Brazilian and international sport.
Havelange, who for decades towered over Brazilian sport with senior roles in football and the Olympics, was forced to pay reparations after prosecutors said he received a kickback from a company that sold World Cup broadcasting rights.
“He already paid, he has been punished,” Gryner said. “We in Rio 2016, I, have a lot of pride to be associated with Joao Havelange.”
The stadium, named after the seriously-ill 96-year-old, will host the Olympic track and field events in 2016.