Residents of the Caju favela watch from their roofs a soccer game that's part of a Football for Hope Festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, July 7, 2014. The Festival brings together delegations of young representatives from Football for Hope-support
Silvia Izquierdo
July 08, 2014

LONDON (AP) The IOC official overseeing efforts to speed up Rio de Janeiro's troubled preparations for the 2016 Olympics says the smooth running of the World Cup has lifted the mood of Brazilians and given them the confidence needed to deliver the games on time.

In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, IOC executive director Gilbert Felli says the situation has improved since he was dispatched as a special troubleshooter for Rio two months ago.

He says Brazilian organizers will complete the mountain of work still needed to do over the next two years - with constant monitoring.

Felli says, ''Of course it remains tense, but we should look with more optimism.''

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