By Duncan Mackay

CONJES_logoJune 20 - Annecy 2018 will go into next month's vote against rivals Munich and Pyeongchang with the official support of the French-speaking world after a motion was passed backing its bid to host the Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

The support came during the 33rd Ministerial session of CONFEJES - the Conference of Ministers for Youth and Sport from States and Governments with French as a common language - held in Ndjamena, Chad.

"The Conference of Ministers supports France and calls on all its members and those of the International Francophone Organisation to support the Annecy bid – the only French-speaking bid – to host the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games," said a motion which was passed by consensus.

A similar motion was passed six years ago supporting Paris' bid to host the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

At the time it was claimed that the support was a major boost for Paris as CONFEJES had never expressed such unanimous support for one particular bid.

But Paris still lost to London.

Charles Beigbeder, the President of Annecy 2018, was nevertheless delighted with the backing from CONFEJES, an arm of the International Francophone Organisation (OIF) dealing with youth and sport, which was founded in 1969. 

"It is important for us to have received this unanimous support from CONFEJES for our vision of authentic Games in the heart of the mountains, with the athletes and for the future," said Beigbeder as he prepared for the vote in Durban on July 6. 

"We believe Games in France will offer the Olympic Movement an authentic global platform to promote its values.

"We want to work in partnership with the IOC {International Olympic Committee) to use Games in Annecy to benefit Winter Sports not just in one city, country or continent but all over the world.

"As well as the worldwide exposure CONFEJES and its members bring to Annecy 2018, this official support is also an excellent opportunity to promote our bid to the representatives of member states and exchange views with the leaders of the many international sports organisations that partner CONFEJES, such as French-speaking international organisations the International Movement for Sport (Mouvement sportif international) and the African Movement for Sport (Mouvement Sportif Africain).

"This support is a real boost for us and our team will be doing everything possible in the final days of the campaign to bring the 2018 Games to Annecy to help benefit Olympism all over the world."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
June 2011: Half of Annecy residents oppose 2018 Winter Olympics but bid leader still claims they will win
June 2011: "We can win" claim Annecy 2018 despite poor local support
June 2011: "We have the funds to compete" claims Annecy 2018 chief
May 2011: Exclusive - "You have to lobby until the very end" Coe urges 2018 bid cities
May 2011: Marathon race where finishing first is the only thing that matters