Confusion reigns in host city vote as Istanbul celebrate prematurely

Saturday, 07 September 2013
Nick Butler at The Hilton in Buenos Aires

There were premature celebrations from some of the Turkish contingent after the first round of votingSeptember 7 - There was widespread confusion following the announcement of Istanbul's victory over Madrid to decide the first round of voting here in the race to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games as many presumed that Istanbul had won, not the first round, but the whole competition.

Istanbul defeated Madrid in an elimination decider after the pair had initially tied behind first round winners Tokyo

But, as Madrid's fate was sealed, a huge chant of "Istanbul, Istanbul" erupted around the media room as a large Turkish press contingent celebrated what they believed to be the countries first victory at the fifth attempt.

After the tie was not explained clearly by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge and nor immediately was the fact that Madrid were eliminated thereafter this confusion was understandable after a decidedly strange announcement process. 

Mustafa Kartoplu, a Turkish journalist from the Star Newspaper, admitted to being confused and mistakenly celebrating a premature victory.

"Yes, I thought it was between Turkey and Spain in the final and did not realise that it was a tie," he admitted.

"It was very confusing but now we understand - we have a big chance to win now.

"We are very happy but it is not finished between us and Tokyo."

The final vote between Istanbul and Tokyo has already been taken place yet it will not be announced until this afternoon.

The IOC will be hoping it occurs along more clear lines and - after the technical problems which dogged the live feed of this morning's candidate presentations - that more hiccups do not lie ahead.

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