Madrid, June 29: IOC President Jacques Rogge wants Madrid to bid for the 2020 Olympics, Spain's sports minister said Wednesday.
Albert Soler said the International Olympic Committee head told him Madrid's project is “strong” since little investment was necessary.
“Rogge has asked us to get Madrid to present itself, but he didn't say present yourself and we'll give it to you, just that the more cities that bid the better,” Soler said.
Madrid made unsuccessful bids for the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, losing to London and Rio de Janeiro, respectively.
While Soler hinted the government would back any bid, Madrid Mayor Alberto Ruiz Gallardon would have to decide on any new Olympic candidacy.
“Nobody knows whether Madrid should present itself better than him,” Soler said.
Rome is the only declared candidate so far for 2020. National Olympic committees have until Sept. 1 to submit bids to the IOC.
Other potential candidates for 2020 include Tokyo; Istanbul, Turkey; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; and Doha, Qatar.
Soler also reiterated that the prolonged economic crisis in Spain could play a factor in any decision, but that Spanish athletes will not see funding for 2012 Games cut because of it. Grant programs for future games would come under review, however.
“By no means is funding for 2012 in danger. It will not be affected by the crisis. But what is clear is the current model will be ending,” said Soler, who recently replaced Jaime Lissavetzky. AP