POSTED: March 3rd 2011
NewsUpdate

Cape Town quits 2020 arena to leave African way clear for Durban

Holland's players and fans enjoy their World Cup semi-final victory over Uruguay in last year's World Cup semi-final in Cape Town's Green Point Stadium / Fotosports.com
Holland's players and fans enjoy their World Cup semi-final victory over Uruguay in last year's World Cup semi-final in Cape Town's Green Point Stadium / Fotosports.com

GERALD ALEXANDER / Sports Features Communications

PRETORIA, Mar 03: Africa's 2020 Olympic Games bidding slot has been left wide open now for Durban after city officials in Cape Town confirmed that the west coast city had lost interest.

A South African candidature was considered a certainty in the wake of the all the positive comments - by IOC president Jacques Rogge, FIFA leader Sepp Blatter and African football bos Issa Hayatou - about the country's success in hosting last year's World Cup finals.

Durban and Cape Town were both key venues and both hosted semi-finals. However Durban's long-term sports development strategy had always made it the more likely bidder and Cape Town has now accepted that it cannot compete.

City spokesperson Pieter Cronje said that although Cape Town was now regarded as a leading international sports destination, Olympic preparations would require massive investment in public transport and other infrastructure which are beyond its funding reach.

Cup controversy

Cape Town was embroiled in controversy ahead of the World Cup because of the decision to build the expensive Green Point stadium in the shadow of Table Mountain. Opponents claimed the city was wasting money on a rival venue to historic Newlandes which had no certain long-term value.

The stadium cost E430million, some E130m more than had been estimated originally.

The doom-laned predictions appear to be coming true after rows between the city and local league club Ajax over which foots the stadium's running costs. A crowd of barely 10,000 attended last month's "family day" game aganst Super Sports United from Pretoria. Ajax took subsequent matches back to the 30,000-capacity Athlone Stadium in their traditional Cape Flats 'home' district.


Keywords · Cape Town · 2020 Olympic Games · Durban · 2010 World Cup · Rogge · Blatter · Hayatou


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