The federal government, yesterday, officially made a proposal to the International Olympic Committee to host the 2022 Youth Olympic Games in Abuja.
At a video presentation held in Abuja, the Nigerian delegation led by the Minister of Youth and Sports Barrister Solomon Dalung, assured the visiting members of the International Olympic Committee IOC that the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, will be ready to host the games if Nigeria gets the nod.
Dalung commended the IOC for considering an African host for the event.
He said: “I want to commend the IOC for developing a mechanism for Africa to be taken along through the changes introduced in the organization of the Youth Olympics. I want to assure you that the capacity of the country to deliver is not in doubt. We will ensure that we package a brand of the Youth Games which after 2022, will set an agenda for the IOC to emulate.
”Abuja is ready to host because we have hosted international competitions in the past.
“Moreover, the IOC has emphasized that countries seeking to host the games should not build new structures but improve on their existing ones or make use of temporary facilities which will be dismantled after the games.
“We have the organizational capacity, the experience and the technical know-how to host. Abuja as a city has most of the requirements as enumerated to us by the IOC in a video presentation. We hope that at the end of the day, Nigeria will be chosen to host the 2022 Games for Africa,”Dalung said.
Earlier, the IOC members led by Antoine Goetschy, Associate Director for the Youth Olympic Games stated in their video presentation that the process of securing the bid to host the games will cost nothing to enable weaker countries with the potentials to host the event.
“We are here to see what you have to propose and to show you an overview of what we want in a host city. The objective of our visit is for the proposing host nation to understand the strategic alignment and stakeholders engagement and the potential operational footprint”
Other criteria for hosting the games as presented in the video include demonstration of existing international and youth strategies, prior experience in hosting major events, motivation of the relevant authorities and stakeholders for hosting the Youth Games, dedicated and permanent fields of play, potential accommodation solutions for NOC team delegations, existing indoor multipurpose arenas, potential sites for outdoor festival space and discussions on how hosting the YOG 2022 can act as a catalyst for further development.
The members comprising Gilbert Felli, Senior Adviser, Melina Simm, Advisor and Mathieu Pouret, YOG Manager also undertook an inspection tour of the Abuja National Stadium and other facilities on Monday while discussions to select the host country continue.