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MOSCOW, November 22. /ITAR-TASS/. In the next five years Russia will host over 10 large-scale sports tournaments - from Winter Olympics to the FIFA World Cup. At the same time, citizens in the West and even officials of many European countries have been actively protesting against major sports competitions in their cities. President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach has already expressed serious concern over the situation, writes the Novye Izvestia newspaper.
The right to host the 2022 Olympics will be contested by six cities - Almaty (Kazakhstan), Beijing (China), Krakow (Poland), Lvov (Ukraine), Oslo (Norway) and Stockholm (Sweden). There could be more Olympic bidders, but the bids of Germany’s Munich and Swiss Davos and St. Moritz have been withdrawn by the residents of the cities and their environs. The opponents of the Olympics there have got the better of the Games’ supporters in special referendums, so the local authorities had to comply with the decision of the popular majority. The main reason for the population’s discontent is the fear that huge national budget funds would be spent on the Olympics, as well as environmental concerns because of the inevitable large-scale construction.
The Swiss bid was the first to cave in. The public has also ruined the plans to hold the 2022 Olympics in Munich.
Italy has refused to host the 2020 Summer Olympics in Rome. Prague had refused from hosting it previously. For the same economic reasons Vienna has refused to host the 2028 Summer Olympics, and Mexico has withdrawn its bid for hosting the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup events.
Belgium’s Antwerp and Vienna last year pulled out of the bidding process for hosting the World Aquatic Championships.
The situation today is that the bidders for hosting major sports events are either the countries for which the Olympics, for instance, are rather an image promotion, rather than economic event (Russia, China, Kazakhstan), or those with almost fully ready infrastructure, the Novye Izvestia daily writes. For example, Sweden’s Olympic Committee has promised that the organisation of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Stockholm would cost 1.5 billion U.S. dollars, because the country already has almost all the sports facilities for them.
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