By Nick Butler

Poul-Eric Høyer believes changes to the host city voting procedure would benefit the Olympic Movement ©AFP/Getty ImagesBadminton World Federation (BWF) President Poul-Erik Høyer has called for the host city election votes of International Olympic Committee (IOC) members to be made public in order to increase the transparency of the process.


This move, which would mark a revolutionary break with the current system of anonymity, has been among the sport's submissions to the IOC as part of the Olympic Agenda 2020 reform process.

Final decisions are due to be at the Extraordinary IOC Session in Monte Carlo on December 8 and 9. 

Høyer, appointed an IOC member at February's Session in Sochi after becoming BWF President last year, believes this would add credibility to the Olympic bidding process, and therefore increase the likelihood of cities submitting bids.

He also claims it would help cities have more confidence in the process after beaten cities often complain they have been promised the support of IOC members only for them to cast their votes for a rival bid. 

"I believe a more open and transparent process will create a stronger appeal to both countries and cities who could have an interest to make a bid for the Olympic Games," the Dane told insidethegames.

"The Olympic Movement and the bid cities has over the years become more and more professional in how they approach a bid.

"The investment is quite substantial.

"Therefore, it will be of a greater interest in knowing the full story about who is voting in favour and who is voting against and to analyse the process.

"There are many cities who try a second and a third time, and I believe, for them it must be, very relevant to have as much information as possible for their next attempt to try to win the bid.

"I believe that we as an organisation will be able to create a stronger credibility towards our procedure of how a city can win the bid."

Four European cities, including Kraków as well as Lviv, Oslo and Stockholm, have already withdrawn from the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic race ©Getty ImagesFour European cities, including Kraków, as well as Lviv, Oslo and Stockholm, have already withdrawn from the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic race ©Getty Images




This comes at a time where there is widespread apathy concerning bidding for the Olympic Games in some parts of the world, particularly in Europe, with Kraków, Lviv, Oslo and Stockholm all having pulled out of the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic race this year, leaving Asian cities Almaty and Beijing as the only surviving contenders.

Interest for the 2024 edition has also been relatively limited at this stage, with Germany the only European nation to have confirmed their intention to bid. 

Agenda 2020, a process officially opened last December after being a key part of IOC President's Thomas Bach's election manifesto, is also considering many other areas, including changes to the Olympic sports programme and the introduction of an Olympic TV Channel. 

But, given the context of the stumbling 2022 race, changes to the host city process has become the most important element.

After Bach revealed last month that a 16-year-old ban on host city visits would not be lifted as part of the process, a change to the voting procedure would be one possible reform.

In total, 40 recommendations have been made by the IOC Executive Board,with the full list due to be revealed later this month.

Høyer, the singles champion at Atlanta 1996, the only non-Asian ever to win an Olympic badminton gold medal, is currently one of two Danish IOC members along with Crown Prince Frederik.

Høyer claimed it was vital that sports like badminton played an active role in the discussions to reform the Olympic Movement.

"I think it is important for all sports to take part, as it is a mutual future we want to develop in the respect for the interest of all stakeholders," he told insidethegames.

"We all have an interest to make the Games better and to let the Games reflect the development of our society.

I believe the Games and the Olympic Movement has a great responsibility to carry out.

"The whole aspect of health by doing sports and the respect of having a fair competition against each other without interference of doping and match-fixing or any other influence in or out of competition.

"We need to safeguard our respect and credibility and I can see no better that the IOC to do so." 

Contact the writer of this story at nick.butler@insidethegames.biz


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