By Nick Butler at the Susesi Convention Center in Belek

ASOIF President Francesco Ricci Ditti strongly criticised preperations for Rio 2016 today ©AFP/Getty ImagesApril 8 - Concern with preparations for Rio 2016, long bubbling beneath the surface, came shooting to the fore today after damning criticism during the General Assembly of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF).

Leading the way was ASOIF President Francesco Ricci Bitti who, from his opening address, repeatedly raised concerns and did so in stark and at times brutal terms.

The key theme Ricci Bitti, also President of the International Tennis Federation and a member of the Rio 2016 Coordination Commission, stressed was the problems were not the fault of the Organising Committee, but of the various levels of the Brazilian Government.

"I have to share with you a lot of concerns as a member of the Coordination Commission for Rio 2016," he said.

"We are satisfied with our relations with the Organising Committee but the support of the Government is late and not sufficient.

"The cash flow is not positive and the support is late and not coming, they have many words but not money and words are not enough.

"They are delaying, delaying and delaying.

"This is a concern of the Olympic Movement and we have to take action."

Rio 2016 was the key issue up for debate during the ASOIF General Assembly today ©TwitterRio 2016 was the key issue up for debate during the ASOIF General Assembly today ©Twitter

On their visit last month, Ricci Bitti and his Coordination Commission colleagues did not directly criticise preparations for the Games.

They had, though, warned there was "no time to lose".

A "fundamentally important" meeting would be held between the various levels of Brazilian authorities to sort out key issues, they had been promised.

This meeting has now twice been delayed and in the last two weeks two prominent officials associated with the Games, State Governor Sérgio Cabral and Municipal Olympic Company President Maria Silvia Bastos Marquez, stood down from their posts.

It has now been confirmed the meeting is being held today, although the outcome is unlikely to be known for several more days.

ASOIF secretary general Andrew Ryan claimed there were growing concerns related to transport, accommodation, funding, public support and financial commitments by state, municipal and federal levels of the Government. 

In particular, there concerns over the construction of venues in the Deodoro Complex, where nine disciplines, encompassing eight International Federations, are due to be held during the Games.

He cited the equestrian venue, which needs a lot of work, the shooting venue, which needs substantial renovation to make it fit for Olympic standards, and for the other seven disciplines "there is nothing, there are not even workmen on site."

Following on from the criticism last week by International Golf Federation (IGF) President Peter Dawson, Ryan claimed the golf course situated in the other Olympic Park in Barra urgently needs grass to be planted if it is to be ready in time. 

Ryan concluded that "we shouldn't shoot the messenger but we have to find a way to get the message across", before announcing all the International Federations for sports due to be held in the Deodoro Complex will meet here tomorrow. 

The site of the inaugural Olympic golf competition, pictured last November, is commanding particular attention ©Getty ImagesThe site of the inaugural Olympic golf competition, pictured last November, is commanding particular attention ©Getty Images

International Olympic Committee (IOC) official Christophe Dubi. who is due to take over from Gilbert Felli as IOC Executive Director for the Olympic Games later this year, insisted that "the IOC position on Rio is very clear".

"We have to have special measures in place and have done similar things in the past", he said. 

"We have just come off the extreme success of Sochi [2014].

"To get to that position was a constant battle and it was extremely tight.

"Sochi and Rio are not directly comparable but there are many similarities and we can learn from that example."

In relation to construction he outlined how, "despite delays we have very clear timelines for each of the venues". 

"We need to fulfil every milestone to ensure delays are offset and close integration is needed between all parties," he said.

"It is important that all of us speak from the same voice."

Dubi added task forces were being introduced to address specific issues and that, despite standing down from his post, Felli would stay on in an advisory capacity to lend his great experience to Rio 2016. 

"I hope it is enough," said Ricci Bitti.

The IOC have reiterated their view that Rio 2016 can learn lessons from Sochi 2014 ©AFP/Getty ImagesThe IOC have reiterated their view that Rio 2016 can learn lessons from Sochi 2014 ©AFP/Getty Images

Following a break during which this criticism was digested, it was left to Rio 2016 executive director Agberto Guimarães to outline the steps being made.

The Italian insisted that Guimaraes "is a good driver and he has a good car" before adding, "he just needs some gasoline".

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
April 2014: Rio 2016 figurehead Sérgio Cabral resigns as State Governor
April 2014: Top official involved in Rio 2016 preparations quits as IOC fears grow
March 2014: "Fundamentally important" Rio 2016 progress meeting delayed
March 2014: Fear Rio 2016 will not be ready to host test golf event because so far behind in preparations
March 2014: Will Rio 2016 be a success?