The Olympics have to go to Africa, says Coe

Tuesday, 11 December 2012
By Andrew Warshaw at the Doha Goals conference in Doha

Sebastian Coe 111212December 11 - London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe claims more major sports events must be taken round the world in order to improve the infrastructure and enhance the wellbeing of fans in developing nations.

Speaking here, Coe (pictured top), the face of this summer's Olympic and Paralympic Games, said sport could only be considered global if more countries got the chance to host.

"You are going to need to share our big sporting moments," Coe told delegates.

"But that presents challenges and puts more pressure on the organisations like the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and FIFA because inevitably these countries have less expertise and experience in delivering major championships."

Coe pinpointed vision as the number one priority for anyone hoping to host the Olympics.

"At London 2012 our vision was to use the Games to transform the lives of young people," he said.

"One of our aims was to use the Paralympics to challenge misconceptions.

"Britain will never look at disability in the same way."

Later at a media briefing, Coe said the African continent was the last great unchartered territory for the Olympics, just as it was for the FIFA World Cup before 2010.

"The Games have to go to Africa," Coe said.

"The issue is about timing.

"The challenge is to protect the interests of competitors at all times."

Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani talks during the official opening ceremony of Doha GoalsSheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani talks during the official opening ceremony of Doha Goals

After Coe's podium address and to a reverential welcome, the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani mapped out the importance of staging a conference dedicated to the power of sport.

"As you know, our Arab region stands on the verge of a quantum leap," said the Emir.

"The Arab Spring bloomed into a generation of young people who are determined to achieve their dreams and ambitions."

He made it clear that the conference was not just a talk shop with no lasting impact and "would not just be on paper but be translated into viable initiatives."

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