An Extraordinary Session of the Hungarian Olympic Committee (HOC) will take place in Budapest tomorrow, with a decision expected on whether the capital city will press ahead with its bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.
The meeting will discuss the implications of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Agenda 2020 reform process on the European nation, before making a decision on the potential 2024 bid, a possible dark horse in what is already an intriguingly poised race.
It follows a unanimous decision by the HOC's Bureau in December to put forward a decision on the bid to the membership-at-large.
Following that meeting, HOC President Zsolt Borkai enthusiastically outlined the capital's potential, adding that the outcomes of Agenda 2020 create a major opportunity, including to host some events elsewhere, such as in Debrecen, Szeged and Győr.
But a major challenge for Borkai and the HOC looks to come from the city's political authorities, with Budapest Mayor Istvan Tarlós having dismissed the bid as "unrealistic" and "unviable" when it was first muted in September.
As has been seen with the failed bids of European cities for the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in the last 12 months, it is possible that a lack of political support could derail the city's chances regardless of the HOC decision.
The city has never hosted either a Summer or Winter Games, but has bid unsuccessfully for five previous editions, most recently for the 1960 version eventually awarded to Rome.
If a positive decision is made tomorrow, Budapest will become the third city to announce its bid, after Rome once again, as well as Boston - selected as the US candidate ahead of Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington D.C. last month.
A decision by the German Olympic and Sports Confederation on whether to nominate either Berlin or Hamburg will be made on March 21.
Baku, Doha, Istanbul and either Pretoria or Gauteng Province in South Africa are other potential contenders.
Although the deadline for confirming bids is September 15, a special invitation phase for the 2024 Olympic bid process started on January 15, with the IOC keen to provide more consultation with cities in order to generate more popular support.
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