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Mbalula drops 2020 Olympics bid

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula's office has officially abandoned plans to bid for the 2020 Olympic Games,...

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula. Picture: Werner Beukes/Sapa

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula's office has officially abandoned plans to bid for the 2020 Olympic Games, he said on Wednesday.

A few months ago, Cabinet announced it would not bid for the games as South Africa has more pressing national priorities.

However, Mbalula maintained that the bidding process for the games was still "quite open".

The department said it would lobby to change government's mind before the International Olympic Committee's September candidacy deadline.

However on Wednesday Mbalula said despite being eager to bring another big sporting event to South Africa, he would give the 2020 bid a miss.

"We will not be pursuing the 2020 bid any longer because government has taken a decision and we are part of that collective," he said.

Mbalula said the sports ministry will focus on the 2024 Olympic bid and the Commonwealth Games.

Rome, Tokyo, Madrid and Istanbul have been formally nominated to host the 2020 games.

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