SA will bid for 2020 Olympics
Johannesburg - South Africa’s governing Olympic body, SASCOC, today announced that it would formally oversee a bid for the 2020 Games and encouraged potential host cities to state their intention of being involved in the process.
The dramatic news was announced by the chief executive officer of SASCOC, Tubby Reddy, and comes in the wake of resounding international acclaim for the manner in which South Africa staged the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Africa’s first soccer World Cup drew to a close on Sunday, 11 July, and has been hailed far and wide as an overwhelming advertisement for the country and the continent.
No African city has staged the Olympic Games, but after President Jacob Zuma had publicly declared the World Cup a success he then expressed confidence that South Africa could do a similarly excellent job in 2020.
“For our eyes to be on 2020, we are not weary,” President Zuma said “because we have the facilities.”
Enthused by the president’s endorsement, the SASCOC board met today (Tuesday) to discuss the possibility of overseeing a 2020 bid process. “I can confirm that in light of President Zuma’s comments we met today,” said the SASCOC CEO, Tubby Reddy.
“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.”
Mr Reddy added that any city that wanted to be involved in the bidding process would need to contact him directly, as SASCOC CEO, and he would provide them with the procedure as to what’s required to bid for the Games.
South Africa lost out in the race for the 2004 Olympics, when Cape Town won the internal race ahead of Durban and Johannesburg, with the International Olympic Committee awarding the Games to Athens.
However, the president of the IOC, Jacques Rogge, in the country to attend the final of the World Cup, had said on Monday: “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 (2020 Olympics) event.”
SASCOC, also thanks to President Zuma’s encouragement and endorsement, has now taken the first steps towards that 2020 commitment.