Thursday February 12th, 2015

FIFA has opposed the notion of Manaus fielding Olympic soccer tournament matches at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games after the jungle city was proposed as a host site by Olympic organizers on Thursday.

Other proposed host cities for soccer include Rio (two stadiums), Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Salvador and Brasilia. All five built or renovated stadiums for the 2014 World Cup, and all hosted matches during last year's World Cup, as did Manaus.

FIFA, however, is opposing Manaus because of its distance from Rio: approximately 1,800 miles (3,000 kilometers).

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"We do not consider Manaus as a suitable first option for a hosting venue," FIFA said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

"Given the Olympic football tournament is only two weeks long, FIFA's preference has also always been on short distances between the other football venues and the Olympic city Rio de Janeiro to provide the participating teams with the best possible Olympic experience."

FIFA and the Brazilian Football Confederation have until March to decide on the host cities.

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Olympic men's tournament teams play with under-23 sqauds, but each team is allowed up to three players above the age limit. Sixteen men's teams and 12 women's teams will compete.

Brazil has never won the Olympic soccer tournament, most recently losing to Mexico in the 2012 gold-medal game in London.

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