South Africa will not bid for either of the next two Summer Olympics in 2024 or 2028 as it focuses on hosting the Commonwealth Games for the first time in Durban in 2022, one of the nation’s sports officials said Wednesday.
“We are fairly focused now that we should pay attention to the Commonwealth Games in 2022 and … we will not intend to bid in the next seven years for anything,” South Africa Director General for Sport and Recreation Alec Moemi said, according to Reuters. “So an Olympic bid is not on our cards now.
“When it is, we will speak on it.”
An African nation has never hosted an Olympics.
Previously, on Dec. 1, International Olympic Committee member and former South African Olympic Committee president Sam Ramsamy reportedly said South Africa was “readying to bid for the 2024 Games.”
Since then, Durban emerged as the favorite to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, especially with Edmonton withdrawing from that bid race on Feb. 11. Durban won the right to host the Commonwealth Games unopposed.
The most recent African Olympic bid was by Cape Town for the 2004 Olympics, which were won by Athens in 1997. Cape Town was third in voting.
Confirmed 2024 Olympic bids are coming from Budapest, Hamburg, Los Angeles, Paris and Rome. The 2024 Olympic host will be determined via an IOC vote in 2017.