Egypt considers bidding for the Olympics, says IOC president

Ghada Abdel-Kader, Monday 13 Dec 2010

Egypt may bid to host the Olympic Games, according to president of the International Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge.

Rogge assisted to the celebrations of the centenary of the Egyptian Olympic Committee

In a press conference held in Cairo on Sunday, Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), said that prime minister Ahmed Nazif informed him that Egypt is thinking of bidding to host the Olympic Games. "The government is studying the necessary requirements and will eventually make a bid,” Rogge told reporters at a celebration of the centenary of the Egyptian Olympic Committee (1910 – 2010).

The IOC chief said that Egypt has had a significant input into Olympic sports and was able to organize important events such as the 10th Pan-Arab Games in 2007.

Egypt failed to land the 2010 World Cup but Alexandria is currently in the race to host the Mediterranean games in 2017.

Rogge also talked about the contribution of IOC to the development of sports, using the example of the Olympic centre in Zambia. “IOC started with the project in Zambia. It is working very well. The second Olympic centre will be built in Tahiti. They suffered earthquakes and went through tough circumstances. IOC is working according to priorities. We will come back to North Africa but not immediately because there are regions like in Latin America and South-east Asia where they need more such centres.”

Rogge was faced with questions about the current debate on Muslim women wearing veils during international sporting competitions. “IOC has no responsibility in determining the athletes clothing. International federations do and they made these rules for security not religious reasons," he said. “For instance, in the 2010 Singapore Youth Olympic games, FIFA objected to the clothing of the Iranian women's football team. But they reached an agreement and the Iranians participated with some modifications to their clothing."

The Olympic Games will be held in London in 2012 and in 2016 by the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, which will be the first Olympics held in South America. Africa is yet to host the quadrennial event although South Africa has already announcing its interest, followed now by Egypt.

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