POSTED: March 30th 2009

'World Cup can light torch'

Stadium work in Cape Town - in the shadow of Table Mountain / lake images
Stadium work in Cape Town - in the shadow of Table Mountain / lake images

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT / Sports Features Communications

WELLINGTON, NZ: The 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa could be the spark which fires a successful bid to follow up and then host the Olympic Games in its wake.

That prospect was held out by the president of the International Olympic Committee, Dr Jacques Rogge, in Wellington. Cape Town bid in vain against Athens for the 2004 Olympic Games and local sports leaders and politicians have used the city’s inclusion in the World Cup hosting to lay longer-term foundations for a possible Olympic bid.

Durban and Johannesburg are other cities whose senior officials and community directors have shown interest in possible Olympic bidding.

The Olympic Games has not only never gone to Africa it has never even gone to South America – which is one of the important planks in the current 2016 bid being run by Rio de Janeiro.

Rogge said: “We would love to see the Olympic Games being organised in all continents and sub-continents. On the other hand to award the Games to a continent you need candidates and Africa has not sent a current candidate.

“For understandable reasons they wanted to concentrate on the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

“But I believe that after South Africa has organised the World Cup there will probably be other candidatures from Africa. We are working hard to reduce the cost of the Games as much as possible but we have a duty to the athletes.

“I would not want to live with the situation where we would have to say to the athletes: 'We did our best and they were not good Games, I'm sorry for that, see you later' because there may not be another Games for them."

Rogge is in Wellington for the Oceania National Olympic Committee general assembly.

Keywords · Olympic Games · World Cup · IOC · Rogge

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