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Rio de Janiero tidies up for 2014 World Cup by arresting 63 cops … wait, what?

Dec 6, 2012, 12:40 PM EDT

Military policemen walk up the stairs as they arrive at the Central Headquarters of Military Police after being arrested during Operation Purification in Rio de Janeiro Reuters

The photo you see here shows policemen being trooped into the Central Headquarter of Military Police in Rio de Janiero on Tuesday, after 63 of them were arrested as part of Operation Purification.

They’re sweeping Brazil. The Olympics are coming, and the government wants everything just so.

We wonder if the Brazilian government realized just what a monumental task it was undertaking in getting things ready for both the 2014 World Cup and the ’16 Olympic Games. Operation Purification, in which 11 drug traffickers were also nabbed on Tuesday, is an effort to root out criminal members of a notoriously corrupt police force in the country. But Rio’s problems in getting ready for the two big sporting events go deeper.

  • Sports infrastructure building projects are behind schedule, and officials are getting nervous.

Yesterday, the IOC voiced its concerns regarding preparations for the 2016 Olympic games. “Time is ticking,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams said in a public statement.

Even Pele, arguably the greatest soccer player of all time and a national icon in Brazil, has his doubts. “At the moment, things are not great,” the footballer said in August. “We have a little problem with the construction.”

The remodeling of Sao Januario Stadium, home of soccer club Vasco da Gama which is supposed to play host to the rugby sevens tournament, missed an Oct. 31 deadline. Officials are now talking about moving rugby to Joao Havelange Stadium instead.

But Rio 2016 president Carlos Nuzma begs to differ.

“Everything is on the way and on time,” Nuzma told reporters after his presentation to the IOC.

“The budget will be ready next year. We are in a comfortable, good situation. We are in a very good road.”

But perhaps he should double his efforts, just to be safe.

It might help if that stupid armadillo mascot would make itself useful for once and pick up a hammer.