Official casts doubt on joint bid plan
TOKYO -- A high-ranking International Olympic Committee official has cast doubt on a proposal by Hiroshima and Nagasaki to co-host the 2020 Olympics, saying only one city can host the games.
"The Olympic Charter clearly states only one city can host the Olympics. It does not allow two cities to co-host the games. At the moment, the answer is no," Gilbert Felli, executive director for the Olympic Games, told Kyodo News agency on Tuesday.
On Sunday, a week after Tokyo failed in its bid to host the 2016 Olympics, Hiroshima mayor Tadatoshi Akiba and Nagasaki mayor Tomihisa Taue said the two cities, site of atomic bombings at the end of World War II, wanted to set up a joint committee to vie for the 2020 Games, emphasizing world peace.
Felli said that although there was a proposal to review bid policies, it is unlikely changes will be made before the bid process for the 2020 Games starts in 2011. Rio de Janeiro won the right to host the 2016 Olympics in a recent vote of IOC members at Copenhagen.
The host city for the 2020 Games will be selected by the IOC in 2013.
Felli suggested that it would be possible for one of the cities to host the Olympics and the other to host some of the sporting events, such as the first stage of a soccer competition.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki are approximately 183 miles apart and are on separate islands. Nagasaki is on Japan's southern island of Kyushu while Hiroshima is on the main island of Honshu.
Hiroshima hosted the 1994 Asian Games, a regional version of the Olympics, in which about 7,300 athletes from 42 countries and regions took part.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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