It's hot and humid in Rio de Janeiro and it's the one thing you desperately want to help you get through a busy sports session.

But organisational stuff ups are leading scores of spectators to miss much of the action for the unforgivable crime of wanting to grab a drink.

A feed and a cool beverage seem to be the one thing you can't get at the 2016 Olympics - not for love and almost not for money either. And it's trying the patience of spectators.

Sure, the world is used to food and drink queues when it comes to sporting venues - they are a rite of passage at most mega sports stadiums - but Rio has taken the purchasing of a cool, thirst-quenching beer to a whole new and incredibly frustrating level.


It's time-consuming and entirely ridiculous.

Firstly, don't even try to rock up to a stand and do the traditional thing of exchanging money for food. Oh no, that's your first error.

This is how the punishing process goes. You go up to an official man or a woman, who is usually meandering somewhere near the food stands at the venues.

They all have a 'caixa' (cashier) sign stuck on their back, which hovers above their head, so you know they are legit.

You then hand over your Brazilian bucks or a credit card whether the money is for water, beers, burgers, chips, popcorn whatever. Don't dare try and pay with a MasterCard - Visa is a major sponsor of the Olympics and about the only card that is taken anywhere.

Once you have given the caixa your money they then give you a couple of tickets. Or food-like stamps. Note - at this point, you haven't actually got any food or drink.

From there you join yet another queue, where you pick up your food or drinks according to what you have ordered and is on the receipt. No changes allowed.

But the system is just not working.

The line for the cashiers is huge - 50 minutes later in the boiling sun and the cashier queue hadn't moved at all outside the beach volleyball venue on Copacabana Beach when I was there.

The queues are full of punters, sports fans and every nationality possible but what seems to be taking the time are corporate hospitality people buying up big and trying to do big financial conversions and transactions - "will that be 30 or 40 beers or 27 popcorns?" - while all you want to do is buy a lone water or a beer.

Which, by the time you do actually get it, get goes down like liquid gold (even though you have missed half of the sports session you are meant to be watching). Want another beer or to change your order? Bad luck, back to the cashier, and the interminable queues, you must go.

Even worse, and it happened only a third of the way through the opening ceremony, once you bought your food stamps and took them over to the food stand ... they had run out of actual food.

There was no food but there were no refunds either. Nothing. Whether you got fed was pretty much the luck of the draw.

While the intention of separating the cash part from the actual food part probably seemed like an effective way to handle money at that particular food and hospitality IOC briefing session, the whole concept just isn't working. What's happening in Rio is a disaster.

But if you look on the bright side, and a definite first world problem here, there certainly won't be thousands of drunken sports watchers twirling around the city as they emerge out of sporting venues.

I guess everyone will have to leave their drinking to one of the zillions of bars dotted throughout Rio.