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SA’s Commonwealth bid

South Africa has put the disappointment of not bidding for the 2020 Olympic Games behind them by switching attention to a possible hosting of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

This emerged from Thursday’s press conference ahead of the 123rd International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session to be hosted in Durban next month.

SASCOC president Gideon Sam confirmed SA interest in a Commonwealth Games bid. “Immediately after the announcement of where the 2018 Commonwealth Games will be held, we will go in for 2022. It has never been to Africa and so we want to put in a bid,” he said.

November is the scheduled announcement date for the 2018 Games venue. That will be made in St Kitts & Nevis.

After successfully hosting the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup last year, South Africa were expected to bid for the 2020 Olympics, never yet hosted on the African continent, but national government opted not to back that bid, preferring to focus on issues of service delivery to all.

Sam said that on previous occasions the country had allowed other countries to bid for the Commonwealth Games. “In the past we stood back for Nigeria but they lost out to Glasgow (for the right to host the 2014 games). This time we have said there will be no horse-trading, we will put up our hand and see how we go,” he said.

Sam added that a bid for the Commonwealth Games would not be hampered by the same issues that affected a possible Olympics bid. “The scale of the Commonwealth Games is a lot smaller than the Olympics. We will have to have buy-in from a host city and from government, because of security issues, but we are not talking about the expense of an Olympics,” he said.


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