Strengths, weaknesses of Games bidders
By Pirate Irwin ,AFPPARIS -- The host city for the 2020 Summer Olympics will be voted on by the 100-plus International Olympic Committee (IOC) members in Buenos Aires next Saturday.
September 2, 2013, 12:07 am TWN
Here is a look at the three candidates' strengths and weaknesses (in the order they will make their final presentations to the IOC members):
The fifth time they have bid but this one bears no comparisons to the previous four. This has been a dynamic, innovative and emotional candidature led with great elan by the charismatic successful businessman and former professional basketball player Hasan Arat. IOC members love the term legacy and Istanbul provides that as it would be the first predominantly Muslim country to host the Games. “The Olympic Movement can open the door to a new culture,” Arat told AFP in August. “It can bridge Olympic culture to new culture. A new bridge to historical impact, with 8000 years of history the Olympic Movement is not just giving the Olympic Games to a city — they (the IOC) would be giving hope, trust and peace to a region.” Full government support also lends weight to their bid.
Memories still linger of the heavy-handed manner the Turkish government reacted to anti-government protests which according to police estimates saw some 2.5 million people in June take to the streets in nearly 80 cities for three weeks to demand Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's resignation. Five people were killed and more than 8,000 injured in the civil unrest. The popular protests in Brazil during the Confederations Cup by people angry at money being invested in sporting events — the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro — instead of public services has also made some members nervous of giving a second successive Summer Games to another developing country. Transport too may prove a concern.