JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa is planning a bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games, the country’s Olympic governing body said on Tuesday.
The announcement came as the country was basking in the glory of successfully staging the first soccer World Cup on African soil.
The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) said in a statement that it aimed to provide a world-class city to host the continent’s first Olympic Games.
“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,” it said.
South Africa bid for the 2004 Games but Cape Town lost out to Athens. The cities most likely to bid for 2020 would be Durban and Cape Town, officials have said.
South African President Jacob Zuma has said the country is up to the task of hosting the Games after the World Cup.
“We have decided that the way forward would be to engage government and key stakeholders on the way forward,” the SASCOC said.
Africa is the last continent not to have been awarded the Games and analysts have said a number of factors — including the World Cup success — have boosted South Africa’s chances.
The country dispelled doubts it could host a major sporting event like the World Cup and built infrastructure and stadiums for the event.
South Africa also deployed a massive security force for the World Cup, which ended without any major crime incidents.