Thu, Jul 15, 2010 - Page 18 News List

South Africa to bid for 2020 Olympic Games: official

AFP , JOHANNESBURG

South Africa is to make an official bid for the 2020 Olympic Games after the country hosted a successful World Cup, governing Olympic body chief Tubby Reddy announced on Tuesday.

A bid for the Olympics is regarded as a way of maintaining South Africa’s new international profile and of maximizing the investment it gained for hosting the World Cup.

“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,” said Reddy, CEO of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee.

Reddy’s statement follows South African President Jacob Zuma’s public declaration that South Africa would like to bid for the Olympics.

The move has already received the nod from International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge who said he would be glad if a South African city made a host bid.

South Africa poured US$5 billion into the first World Cup in Africa and largely overcame fears about crime and poor transportation, hosting a widely applauded tournament.

Cape Town sought in 1997 to become the first African host of the Olympic Games, but failed to win the 2004 edition and the country turned its focus to the World Cup.

The race to stage the 2020 Olympic Games is set to open next year, with the deadline for the submission of applications to the committee falling in 2013.

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