POSTED: June 12th 2009

African Olympic Games still way out of sight, says Blatter

Sepp Blatter: FIFA president and IOC member /
Sepp Blatter: FIFA president and IOC member /

KEIR RADNEDGE / Sports Features Communications

JOHANNESBURG: The prospect of the Olympic Games being brought to the African continent in the foreseeable future has been ruled out by Sepp Blatter.

The president of the world football federation FIFA was speaking ahead of Sunday’s kickoff to the Confederations Cup, a test event ahead of the World Cup in South Africa next year. Interest in bidding to host the Games has been promoted in Cape Town and also discussed in both Johannesburg and Durban. All three cities will be World Cup host venues.

Blatter, who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee, conceded that even international football took its first step into the African unknown only through the expedient of political manoeuvring.

This had involved the temporary introduction of a system of hosting rotation among the continents. Thus 2010 had been Africa’s ‘turn’ and South Africa’s bid had been judged overwhelmingly superior to those of Morocco, Egypt and Libya/Tunisia.

Blatter added: “Unless the IOC decides to go for rotation I do not see, in the near future, how the Olympic Games can ever come to the African continent. This is my personal view as a sportsman and as a member of the IOC.”

The 2012 summer Games are being staged in London and a decision about 2016 will be taken by the IOC in October in Copenhagen. The shortlist of candidates features Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo.

The Olympic Games has never yet been staged in South America either – unlike the World Cup which was staged in Uruguay in 1930, in Brazil in 1950, in Chile in 1962 and in Argentina in 1978. It returns to Brazil in 2014.

Keywords · IOC · Olympic Games · FIFA · Blatter · South Africa

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