SAfrica gives another hint at Olympic bid

Jul 2, 2010 - 12:23 PM PRETORIA, South Africa(AP) -- South Africa president Jacob Zuma again strongly hinted that Africa's first World Cup host is considering a bid for the Olympics.

"I don't see why we can't bid to host the Olympics," Zuma said in an interview Friday published on FIFA's website. "People are already talking about a possibility of bidding for (other) major events and we are supporting this. The Olympics are an example."

Zuma said South Africa has the resources and infrastructure and an Olympic bid is "important for Africa."

IOC president Jacques Rogge said last month he will discuss a possible South African bid when he meets with Zuma on the weekend of the July 11 World Cup final. Rogge said the International Olympic Committee was "glad" South Africa was thinking about the Olympics.

A successful World Cup could inspire its first African host to launch another effort for the Olympics after Cape Town missed out on the 2004 Games in a vote held in 1997. The South African city came in third behind winner Athens and Rome.

South Africa also failed in its first attempt to host the World Cup in 2006 before succeeding the second time.

"Yes, we lost (the World Cup to Germany) the first time, but we knew that we would do it next time," Zuma said. "That is what defines us as a country, our attitude and the belief that nothing is impossible."

The host for the 2020 Olympics is next to be decided. Preliminary bids for 2020 must be submitted next year, with the IOC selecting the host city in 2013.

Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban are potential bid cities. Durban will stage the 123rd IOC session in July 2011, where the host city for the 2018 Winter Olympics will be announced.

So far Rome is the only city to formally say it will bid for the 2020 Summer Games

Zuma described Africa's first World Cup as "undoubtedly a very successful tournament" and "proved not only South Africa, but Africa is capable of hosting any major event."

Zuma said South Africa proved wrong critics who doubted its ability to build stadiums in time or deal with security issues.

"Today, a lot of people who are honest enough have come out and said 'We confess, we were wrong about your country,"' Zuma added.

South Africa's first-round exit made it the first World Cup host not to advance from the opening round, but Zuma said Bafana Bafana still played "good football."

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