Sascoc comfortable with not hosting 2020 Olympic Games

2011-05-26 15:54

The SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) respects the decision by government not to endorse a bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games, its president Gideon Sam said.

“We at Sascoc have always said that government backing was absolutely crucial,” he said in a statement today.

“We could only move forward on this bid if the government had a big appetite for the bid. So life will go on at Olympic House.”

Sam made it clear that the committee “understands perfectly” where government was coming from.

“If the call is for bigger priorities such as better service delivery and the likes then we must support them. We are comfortable with their decision,” said Sam.

He hoped that South Africa would be able to bid for the 2024 and 2028 Games.

“In the meantime, we can perhaps look at hosting other important multicode events, for example the Commonwealth Games and World Games, also very important events in their own right, in order to get further experience of hosting major sporting occasions.”

Sascoc would go back to the drawing board and continue with business as usual.

“We have many other sporting projects that we’re working on and will continue to do so. We will obviously assess the situation and then take it further.”

Cabinet earlier issued a statement in Cape Town saying it was not the right time for the country, despite hosting Africa’s first soccer World Cup in 2010, to bid for the Olympics.

“Cabinet considered the request and decided that it is better for the country to consolidate the gains of the 2010 Fifa World Cup for now and rather focus the country’s attention to the delivery of basic services to all South Africans,” Cabinet spokesman Jimmy Manyi said in a statement.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) this week opened the 2020 bidding process with the national Olympic committees having until September 1 to submit the names of cities.

The host city will be selected by the IOC in 2013.

Durban, the city thought most likely to be put forward as a host city, will be hosting the IOC in July where the global Olympic movement will meet for its 123rd session.

During this session, the host city for the 2018 Winter Olympics will be announced

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