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Last Updated: Monday, 30 July 2007, 09:29 GMT 10:29 UK
Brazil hopes for Rio Games boost
Closing ceremony in Rio's Maracana Stadium
Brazil is due this week to bid formally for the 2014 World Cup
The Pan American Games have closed in Rio de Janeiro with organisers hoping the event has boosted Brazil's chances of staging more global tournaments.

Brazil is expected to be chosen to host the 2014 Fifa World Cup but officials are also aiming for the 2016 Olympics.

A flamboyant closing ceremony capped two weeks of sport, attended by more than 5,000 athletes from 42 countries.

Competitors praised the games but correspondents say the city's infrastructure was put under strain.

At the closing ceremony, athletes paraded together as 1,500 samba percussionists played in the Maracana stadium.

Brazilian accordionists then played a duet with Mexican mariachis, with the Mexican flag hoisted in preparation for the 2011 Pan Am Games to be held in Guadalajara.

"I would like to invite you all back to participate in the 2016 Olympics," Brazil's Sports Minister Orlando Silva told the final news conference.

"We are ready to look for other events and to go after an Olympic candidature," he said.

Fifa proposal

Brazil is the only country bidding for the 2014 World Cup, which Fifa has indicated will be held in South America.

Franck Caldeira of Brazil waves his nation's flag as he wins the men's marathon
Brazil came third in the medals' table after the US and Cuba

The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) is to present their formal proposal to football's world governing body on Tuesday.

The Pan American Games had excellent venues and glossy ceremonies, but the two weeks of competition also exposed serious shortcomings, Reuters reports.

The government spent a reported $2bn (1bn) to make the Games a success, several times more than was first planned.

Building delays forced workers to rush to get the venues ready in time and Rio's transport system was often seriously overloaded.

Around 20,000 police officers were on duty to ensure that the Games ran smoothly, amid concern about the level of crime in Rio.

Rio residents were preparing for a return of the violence that plagues their city as the extra security forces began to withdraw.

"It was so peaceful here. Let's just hope it doesn't return to normal," Rio taxi driver Walter Simoes told the Associated Press.




SEE ALSO
Tim Vickery column
30 Jul 07 |  Internationals
Cuban athletes leave games early
29 Jul 07 |  Americas
Pan American Games open in Brazil
14 Jul 07 |  Americas
Lula booed on Brazil's big night
14 Jul 07 |  Americas
Brazil launches slum reform drive
03 Jul 07 |  Americas
Inside Rio's violent favelas
04 Jul 07 |  Americas

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