Without Olympics, Budapest can still become a world sport city, says top sports official

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, September 14, 2019
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BUDAPEST, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- Budapest can still become the "European sport capital" despite that it will have no chance of hosting the Olympic Games before 2036, a top Hungarian sports official has said.

The Hungarian capital, which is hosting the inaugual World Urban Games, withdrew their bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics in early 2017 citing a lack of political and national unity behind the application.

Budapest 2024 bid chief Balazs Furjes, now chairman of World Urban Games organizing commitee, believed that the failed bid will not affect Budapest's ambition to become a global sport city.

"Even without the Olympics, there are so many opportunities in sport and these events are useful for the city," he said. "Budapest is already a global sport capital."

Budapest has hosted several high-profile international tournaments, including the 2017 FINA World Championships and the 2019 World Table Tennis Championships. It will also stage the 2023 IAAF World Championships and the 2027 FINA World Championships.

Furjes, also Hungarian secretary of state for development and international sport events, said that Budapest will continue to bid for a huge range of sports events, games and conferences until 2030.

"Budapest is in the heart of Europe, we are a sport-loving city and nation," said Furjes. "There is a very clear goal of our 2030 strategy, which is of the government and the national sport federations, which is to be one of the three most important global sport capitals in Europe.

"I think we are in the group of London, Paris, Moscow, Berlin and Budapest, these are the cities that can be the top global sport capitals in Europe."

He said that thanks to the law allowing international sports bodies to choose a simplified tax scheme with lower dues, the International Judo Federation (IJF) has decided to move its headquarters to Budapest from Lausanne, Switzerland.

Furjes said that some other world sport organizations, like The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), is also interested in moving their headquarters to Budapest.

But he said that Budapest is unlikely to host the Olympic Games because Australian city Brisbane is regarded as a favourite for the Games, following Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028.

"The Olympics is a fantastic thing, but will we ever have it, I don't know," he told reporters. "This is currently not on our agenda. The first Olympics for Budapest, in my mind, will be in 2036 or 2040." Enditem

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