India Sports
Delhi to bid for 2020 Olympic Games: Kalmadi
Apr 28, 2007 - 1:29:12 PM

New Delhi, April 28 - Delhi will bid for the 2020 Olympic Games, Indian Olympic Association - president Suresh Kalmadi said here Saturday. India has never hosted what is billed as the biggest sports extravaganza in the world.

'Delhi will bid for the Olympic Games in 2020. The process will start soon after the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi,' said Kalmadi in the presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Earlier, Manmohan Singh inaugurated the Olympic Bhavan. International Olympic Council - president Jacques Rogge was also present.

Rogge, who termed India as a potential 'sporting tiger' besides being an 'economic tiger', wished Delhi luck for the bid.

Asked about India's chances of hosting its first ever Olympic Games, Rogge said: 'India's chances are good, though we - remain neutral. There will be other cities with clout that will bid and it will be tough competition. But you have great potential, and India would have evolved by 2020.'

Delhi will host the 2010 Commonwealth Games. IOA had bid for Delhi to host the 2014 Asian Games, but it was won by South Korea's Incheon after that country offered $20 million to the 45 Asian countries for preparation of athletes.

Rogge pointed out that bids for the 2020 Games would be made in 2013 as they are always submitted seven years in advance of the event. The host for the games would be chosen and announced the same year.

He clarified that there was no rotation policy of allotting the Olympic Games across the globe, and said the 'best bid' eventually wins after considering a variety of factors.

'There is no mandatory rule for rotation of the games. It has to be the best bid. We prefer those continents or subcontinents which have not hosted the games earlier to host them,' he said.

'I am glad that Delhi has decided to bid for 2020. Rio in Latin America will bid for the 2016 games,' he said.

On the increasing role played by money in the allotment of multi-sports extravaganzas, as had apparently happened in Incheon's case this month, he said: 'We want to have a very clear criteria for distribution to countries. They - never go for money. We don't want the games to go for auction.'

Rogge, however, said he couldn't speak specifically on the Incheon case, as it was an issue for the Olympic Council of Asia to address.

He also said efforts were being made to keep a check on the rising cost of the games. But, after taking into consideration the inflation and other things, the operational cost remains the same, he added.

The IOC president was for keeping in check the ever-inflating games in terms of the number of sporting events contested and athletes that take part.

'Six sports were added between the 1992 Barcelona Games and the 2000 Sydney Games. We want to put a cap on the number of sports to 28 and the athletes to 10,500,' he said.

Talking about IOC's plans for Indian sports, Rogge said the IOC in association with the International Hockey Federation has launched a hockey project to uplift the game in India where it has deep roots but has stagnated in the last two decades.

He also pointed out that the IOC gives scholarships to promising Indian athletes. 'We have a whole specific list of support from IOC.'

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