By Nick Butler

Najat Vallaud-Belkacem has described how French officials are working towards a Paris 2024 bid ©AFP/Getty ImagesFrench sports Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem has confirmed talks are ongoing over whether Paris will bid for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics, but no decision will be taken until they have fully evaluated mistakes made during the Annecy 2018 campaign. 

Vallaud-Belkacem, who was appointed Minister for Women, Sports, Youth Affairs and Community Life in a cabinet reshuffle by new Prime Minister Manuel Valls last month, did not give a precise timetable on when a decision will be taken. 

"We are working on it," she told television station BFM.

"I do not know if we will be a candidate but you will know more in a few months."

The 36-year-old has vowed to draw on her experience as councillor of the city of Lyon since 2008, which meant she was involved in Annecy's unsuccessful bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, in which the city finished third with just seven votes behind winners Pyeongchang, which won 63 votes, and Munich. 

"When I worked in the regional council in Lyon, I experienced the Annecy 2018 bid and I remember very well what it should not do. 

"Do not go head-on without having a project that is worn by all players in the sports world."

A poll earlier this year found 56 per cent of Parisian citizens support a 2024 bid ©AFP/Getty ImagesA poll earlier this year found 56 per cent of Parisian citizens support a 2024 bid
©AFP/Getty Images

It can be assumed from these words that the bid will only be launched if it is believed that enough figures from the French and wider sports world are in favour of the attempt.

Among those to have expressed support for a bid has been International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, who encouraged a bid during a visit to the country last November to meet President François Hollande.

But there have also been voices of dissent, including from the freshly appointed Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, who said during her campaign that she was currently not in favour of the bid and would change her mind only if certain conditions were met.

This included a pledge that the cost of bidding would not be funded only by Parisian taxpayers.

But Vallaud-Belkacem who, like Hidalgo, represents the Socialist Party, has also outlined the benefits of bidding for the Games, which will take place on the 100-year anniversary of the last time they were held in Paris, in 1924.

"Organising a major sporting event, this is not a financial burden, but also investment, attractiveness and international reputation," she said.

"And for the whole country, its cohesion."

The race for the 2024 Games has already been marked by a number of contenders withdrawing due to economic and logistical concerns, including Mexico City, St Petersburg, Kazan and Toronto.

Among those still considering bids are Rome, Berlin and up to six cities across the United States.

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