POSTED: July 13th 2010

South Africa wastes no time in launching bid to host 2020 Olympics

South Africa's fans at the World Cup underlined their love of sport /
South Africa's fans at the World Cup underlined their love of sport /

KEIR RADNEDGE in South Africa / Sports Features Communications

JOHANNESBURG, Jul 13: South Africa's Olympic leaders, taking an immediate cue from the encouragement of IOC president Jacques Rogge, have confirmed their expected intention to come up with a bid to host the 2020 summer Games.

Rogge had been in Johannesburg to watch Spain beat Holland in Sunday's World Cup Final. He was reported locally as saying: "South Africa has just shown it is capable of hosting a major international event but we knew this even before the World Cup. It hosted the Rugby World Cup in 1995 and the All-Africa Games in 1999 so there is no doubt it is possible. It is now up to South Africa to decide whether it wants to host the Olympics."

That was yesterday and followed similar encouraging comments from state President Jacob Zuma. He had said: “For our eyes to be on 2020, we are not weary because we have the facilities.”

Today SASCOC (South African Sports Confederations and Olympic Committee) wasted no time in announcing its intention to target 2020. Deputy Sports Minister Gert Oosthuizen has already said the government is ready for talks about a South African Olympic Games.

Three-way challenge

Sam Ramsamy, South Africa's IOC member, has stated that the choice will fall between Johannesburg, Cape Town and the favourite, Durban. The IOC will hold its next Session in Durban in July next year.

The announcement from SASCOC chief executive officer Tubby Reddy followed international praise for the way in which South Africa had organised the World Cup. He said: "I can confirm that in light of President Zuma’s comments we met today. We have decided that the way forward would be to engage government and key stakeholders on the way forward, but our intention is to provide a world-class city capable of hosting Africa’s first Olympic Games in 2020.”

Reddy said any interested city could contact him about procedure.

South Africa lost out in the race for the 2004 Olympics, when Cape Town won the internal race ahead of Durban and Johannesburg only for the International Olympic Committee to award the Games to Athens.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter, also an IOC member, has said that he would support any South African bid to host the Olympics.

Keywords · IOC · South Africa · SASCOC · Rogge · Zuma · Blatter

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