(ATR) A political dispute has flared in North Rhine-Westphalia over the citizens' survey on the German Olympic bid for 2032.
Cologne is one of 14 cities involved in potential 2032 bid. (Max Pixel)
The Social Democratic Party (SPD) is calling for a citizens' survey to be conducted throughout the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, not just in the cities where the planned venues are located.
"A bid for the Games can only be successful if it meets with the broad approval of the people in our state. That is why such a survey must not be an elitist event of a closed society where the other cities are only allowed to watch from outside," said SPD state parliament faction leader Thomas Kutschte.
The initiators of the Olympic bid "Rhine-Ruhr-City" plan to carry out citizen questionings in the possible venues in the coming year. Afterwards the population is to be interviewed in Aachen, Bonn, Dortmund, Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Essen, Gelsenkirchen, Cologne, Leverkusen and Mönchengladbach, among others.
The governing Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in NRW also supports this project.
"But what would be the added value of citizen participation in places where definitely no games take place? It is therefore absolutely right to ask the cities that come into question as venues - and not the entire country," said Jens Nettekoven, spokesman for the CDU parliamentary group on sports policy. "It is clear that a bid is only possible if the participating cities vote accordingly."
Since Munich 1972, Germany has been unsuccessful with a series of Olympic bids. Berlin tried for 2000, Leipzig failed for 2012. Munich attempted Winter Olympic bids for 2018 and 2022. Hamburg launched a bid for 2024 that was dropped over low levels of public support.
In late July, Qatar joined Indonesia, Australia, India and Germany in the quest for 2032. A joint Korean bid is also still a possibility as is another attempt from Madrid, Spain.
Currently, the Australian bid from Queensland appears to be at the most advanced stage of planning.
Beginning in 1991, the IOC chose the host Olympic city seven years in advance. But under the new rules for the bidding process, there is no longer a specific timetable for choosing a host.
The unprecedented double allocation in 2017 of Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 has given the IOC additional breathing room for the 2032 selection.
Written by Heinz Peter Kreuzer
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