Cape Town - South Africa's Olympics committee
boss said on Wednesday he hoped the government would change its mind and
endorse a bid to bring the 2020 summer Olympics to the continent, but a
2024 bid was definite.
"From an Olympic movement side, we have to
keep our fingers crossed until the date has gone by," Gideon Sam said, referring to the September 1 deadline for bids to be lodged.
do support the cabinet decision in terms of how they feel at this point
in time, but I still have to keep up the hope that on the last moment
they may turn around and say go ahead."
In May, South Africa's
cabinet ruled out a 2020 bid by Durban, but sports minister Fikile
Mbalula has said he will keep lobbying the government.
African host of the football World Cup, South Africa will angle to host
the 2022 Commonwealth Games and a 2024 Olympic bid will "definitely" be
made, said Sam.
Olympics chief Jacques Rogge gave his stamp of
approval to a potential bid by South Africa during the International
Olympic Committee meeting earlier this month, saying: "The country is
Rome, Madrid and Tokyo have so far announced their bids while Istanbul is also expected to do so shortly.
nod from Rogge had boosted the confidence of South Africa, which poured
billions of rands into new stadiums and overhauling transport
facilities for the 2010 World Cup, in hosting big sports spectacles,
"He said, 'I'll be back'. We took from that a very very
clear message that we've now arrived at the level where we can compete
with the rest of the world in terms of hosting events," he told a
briefing ahead of a conference on sports and events tourism in Cape
Local tourism authorities have identified the sector as an
important niche market, while South Africa is also drawing attention as a
sporting host for major global competitions.
beginning to realise that there is something in this country that is
attractive to all of them and I think that we'll be short changing
ourselves if we were to sit back and not make use of these
opportunities," said Sam.
Future possible events include the 2017
World Games in Cape Town, and the 2022 Commonwealth Games for which the
country's name will be put forward later in November at the
federation's meeting in the Caribbean nation of St Kitts and Nevis.
government in May said a "final" decision had been taken not to bid for
the 2020 games so as to focus on rolling out basic government services
in a country where one in five people have no electricity.