Cape Town asks if 2020 Games bid can be considered

BY foxsports • September 21, 2010

Cape Town asked South Africa's Olympic committee if it would consider a possible bid from the city to host the 2020 Olympics after missing the original deadline.

The nation's Olympic body, SASCOC, said Cape Town missed the July 31 date to declare interest in bidding and announced Durban as the country's only candidate earlier this month.

But officials in Cape Town, which mounted a failed bid for the 2004 Olympics, said they were not made aware of any deadline in a disagreement that threatens to undermine South Africa's attempt to bring the Summer Games to Africa for the first time.

''The city has written to SASCOC to ask for the opportunity to consider a possible submission of a bid,'' Cape Town spokesman Pieter Cronje wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

Earlier Tuesday, SASCOC chief executive Tubby Reddy insisted the country's Olympic body had informed all four possible candidate cities - Durban, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth - of the cutoff date.

''The notion that SASCOC messed up Cape Town's Olympic bid is very far from the truth and in fact is rather an attempt from some to hide their own inefficiency,'' Reddy said.

Cronje acknowledged that Cape Town had received an invitation to bid in a letter dated July 15, but he said the letter was just two paragraphs long and did not give details of the process to be followed.

''We don't deny receiving a letter,'' Cronje said, ''but it was open-ended. There was no outlining of the process, no format and, importantly, there was no deadline.''

Officials from Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth have reportedly said they were not invited to bid, while SASCOC maintains it sent letters to all four cities and only Durban met the deadline.

Cape Town lost out in the race to host the 2004 Olympic Games, finishing third in a vote behind winner Athens and Rome. The Italian capital is bidding for 2020.

Countries will be invited to formally submit bids to the International Olympic Committee after the next general assembly - in Durban - in July 2011. The 2020 host city will be selected by the IOC in 2013.

A South African candidate will have to be backed by the government.

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