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South Africa eyes hosting rights for 2024 Olympic, Paralympic

By NAN   |   14 January 2015   |   1:14 pm  

THE South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) on Wednesday indicated interest in bidding for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

According to ‘Inside Games,’’ an online news portal, the Guateng Province in which Johannesburg is located has been tipped to be the host city.

South Africa is aiming to create history by staging the first Olympic Games to be held across several parts of the same country.

The online portal said that the development appeared to be a direct consequence of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Agenda 2020 reform process.

The process, it said, opened up the possibility of bids being spread across more than one city to take advantage of existing venues.

It said that Ivor Hoff, the Head of Sports at Gauteng Province, said the bid was launched due to the agenda 2020 which was unanimously passed at an extraordinary IOC Session in Monte Carlo in December.

“The country has now taken a different view of its Olympic bid, taking more of a country’s approach than a provincial one.

“Because of the new IOC bidding and hosting criteria, the country will take this into consideration,’’ it quoted Hoff as saying.

The portal, however, said that Hoff admitted to enormous advantages to hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games and believes South Africa could stage the Games after successful hosting of the FIFA World Cup back in 2010.

He explained that one city hosting the Games would be quite problematic because it could potentially lead to bankruptcy.

“A developmental country like South Africa could look at it more comprehensively with several cities as venues and this would be much better for the country.

“Based on a really positive 2010 FIFA World Cup, we have got a good understanding of how the country can benefit from hosting major events,’’ the publication said.

According to the online news portal, a presentation to the government,by South Africa’s IOC member Sam Ramsamy can be made next week as the country’s parliament is currently on recess.

“When Ramsamy came back from Switzerland, he reported he is going to make a presentation to the South African Parliament.

“Sam will make the presentation and decisions will be taken from there,’’ it said.

The news portal reported that only Rome and Boston had officially announced their intention to stage the 2024 Games.

Germany has not confirmed the bid for either Hamburg or Berlin.

Other cities, including Paris, Budapest, Doha and Baku are still considering to bid.

The 2024 host city will be decided at the IOC Session in Lima, Peru, on Sept. 15, 2017.

If South Africa happens to win the bid, it would be the first time the Games would be awarded to an African country. (NAN)



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