By Emily Goddard

Lassana Palenfo (pictured right with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach) has said an African Olympics is almost impossible ©Getty ImagesLassana Palenfo, President of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA), has warned it would be "almost impossible" for his continent to host an Olympics and Paralympics.

Although South Africa staged the biggest single-event sporting competition in the world - the FIFA World Cup - in 2010, the Ivorian believes African countries and cities are not yet ready to take on the task of hosting multiple sports and thousands of athletes and officials for a Games.

He also said spending huge sums of money on hosting an Olympics would raise concerns when sizeable sections of the continent's population live in poverty.

"Personally, I would say yes for an African country to host the Olympics," Palenfo told the International Sports Press Association (AIPS).

"It would be fantastic.

"But what of the aftermath of the competition?

"What happens to the match venues constructed for the competition?

"Would it be a waste?


"Look at the example of Athens in Greece, after hosting the 2004 Olympics.

"A huge amount of money was used to construct the venues but now most of them remain un-utilised.

"That's a loss to the nation.

"The same is happening in South Africa now; some the venues used for the World Cup remain unutilised.

"For one African city to host almost 30 different kinds of sports and host tens of thousands of athletes, media professionals and spectators successfully, a lot needs to be done financially and for an African country, it is almost impossible.

"Residents would question the priorities of the Government.

"You cannot have people dying of hunger and you host the Olympics."

South Africa hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup ©Getty ImagesSouth Africa hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup ©Getty Images

He also ruled out the prospect of a joint bid between African cities, saying it would logistically be "catastrophic".

Palenfo's comments at the AIPS Congress at the French Olympic Committee headquarters in Paris come just days after South African Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula all but ruled out a bid from his country for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, telling insidethegames it would be "unrealistic".

The nation is, however, bidding unopposed to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Durban.

Palenfo also thanked AIPS for its work to help combat Ebola in Africa after it donated $20,000 (£13,000/€18,000) to a non-Governmental organisation working in the fight against the virus, which has killed almost 10,000 people.

"I want to thank AIPS for their contribution in combatting Ebola," Palenfo added.

"Your special contribution given to three African countries was a huge show of affection and Africa is thankful for the gesture."

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