POSTED: July 28th 2010

IOC official: Africa should target 2030 or 2040 Olympic bid

(center) Nawal El Moutawakel chairing the Rio 2106 evaluation visit (L to R) Craig Reedie, Jacqueline Barrett, Nawal El Moutawakel and Gilbert Felli / Rio 2016
(center) Nawal El Moutawakel chairing the Rio 2106 evaluation visit (L to R) Craig Reedie, Jacqueline Barrett, Nawal El Moutawakel and Gilbert Felli / Rio 2016

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

TAMPA, July 28: IOC board member Nawal El Moutawakel has spoken out about her view on the possibilities of the African continent to host the Olympic Games.

Speaking to Reuters in Nairobi during the African Athletics Championships the former champion hurdler offers in reality some wise advice towards the South African plan to submit a bid for the 2020 Games. There might be more strength in a more long term goal.

El Moutawakel told Reuters, "There is a huge amount of work to be done besides political desire, hence the experts' view that any realistic chance for (hosting the) Olympics in Africa is between 2030 and 2040.”

Her words carry a lot of weight as this woman has been the chairperson for two IOC evaluation commissions (London 2012, Rio de Janeiro 2016) and currently holds the position of chairperson of the coordination commission overseeing the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Games. She has also been a member of the IOC executive board since 2008, is the only woman on the board and is viewed as one of the top women officials in world sport.

Excitement about a potential African bid escalated following the successful hosting of the FIFA World Cup but as El Moutawakel noted there is a vast difference in hosting a soccer World Cup versus an Olympics. The World Cup is one sport held in soccer stadia around the nation whereas the Olympics require 26 sports to be contended in a multitude of venues. Transportation, accommodations and security are trickier to manage for the Olympics.

At the FIFA World Cup final, IOC president Jacques Rogge, attended and met with South Africa president Jacob Zuma and they discussed the bid possibilities. Rogge has reiterated that the IOC obviously would welcome a bid from the African continent as they have never hosted the Games.

The president said, “From the start, when South Africa were named as World Cup hosts, we all knew the country would be able to organise the tournament. Now it is up to you as a nation to decide if you want to host this event.”

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee came out with a statement July 13th by chief executive officer of SASCOC, Tubby Reddy, that they intended to formally oversee a bid for the 2020 Games and encouraged potential host cities to state their intention of being involved in the process. 

“For our eyes to be on 2020, we are not weary,” President Zuma said “because we have the facilities.”

South Africa bid Cape Town in 1997 for the 2004 Games that Athens won. Rome, Italy was also in the running against Cape Town for that edition.

Durban is hosting the IOC session next year in July where the decision for the 2018 winter Games host city will be selected and will have the opportunity to introduce the IOC members to the city. Durban appears to be the front runner for an African bid for the mild climate during the potential Games’ time as it is winter in South Africa.

So far Rome is the only city to formally declare that they will join the 2020 bid competition. This makes Rome’s second bid and their plan is already in the works.  The 2020 bid race promises to be exciting if South Africa does enter the ring.

Keywords · IOC · Nawal El Moutawakel · Jacques Rogge · Roma 2020

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Laura Walden ()

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