Sascoc still eyes 2020 Olympic bid

2011-07-27 09:37

South Africa’s Olympics committee boss said today he hoped the government would change its mind and endorse a bid to bring the 2020 Summer Olympics to the continent, but a 2024 bid was definite.

“From an Olympic movement side, we have to keep our fingers crossed until the date has gone by,” said Gideon Sam, referring to the September deadline for bids to be lodged.

“I do support the cabinet decision in terms of how they feel at this point in time, but I still have to keep up the hope that on the last moment they may turn around and say go ahead.”

In May, South Africa’s cabinet ruled out a 2020 bid by Durban, but sports minister Fikile Mbalula has said he will keep lobbying the government.

The first African host of the Fifa Soccer World Cup, South Africa will angle to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games and a 2024 Olympic bid will “definitely” be made, said Sam.

Olympics chief Jacques Rogge gave his stamp of approval to a potential bid by South Africa during the International Olympic Committee meeting earlier this month, saying: “The country is ready.”

Rome, Madrid and Tokyo have so far announced their bids while Istanbul is also expected to do so shortly.

Bids must be lodged with the IOC before September 1.

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