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  • Paris 2024 Ambition Dead as PM Backs World Expo Bid


    (Getty Images)
    (ATR) Prime Minister Manuel Valls appears to have ended any hopes of a Paris Olympic bid after publicly supporting France’s candidacy to host the 2025 World Expo.

    Valls on Monday backed a plan to draft a French bid to stage the world’s fair, which it has not hosted since 1900.

    Speaking today, he said the application to host the exhibition was a great opportunity “for the global image of the Paris and France.”

    Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, has also expressed her support for the World Expo over any attempt at landing the Olympics. Bids are due in 2016 with a decision expected in 2018, one year after the IOC’s vote on the 2024 Olympic host.

    With the prime minister and mayor putting their weight behind the World Expo candidacy, the French sports movement’s quest to secure the 2024 Games is at an end – a city could not be a candidate for both.

    Around the Rings is told that France was due make a decision in January on whether to pursue a Paris Olympic bid. A three-part scoping study was scheduled to be presented to decision-makers in the weeks after the IOC Extraordinary Session in Monaco where approval of Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms will reshape the bidding process for the 2024 race. A final decision on a Paris bid was scheduled for next summer.

    Since May, the French sports movement has been engaged in a comprehensive consultation process to determine whether to green-light a Paris 2024 bid.

    French Olympic bids have been a source of embarrassment for French Olympic officials. The Annecy bid for the 2018 Winter Games drew just seven IOC votes – and Paris was the perceived front-runner for the 2012 Games, but came up short to London. The French government, sports federations and the National Olympic Committee were learning the lessons and examining if and how to deliver a credible Olympic bid.

    But the recommendations from 12 task forces, analyzing France’s strengths and weaknesses in sports event hosting experience among other areas, will not now be acted upon for any bid. The results of a technical and financial feasibility study about a possible Olympic bid are also set to be shelved – for now.

    International Rugby Board president Bernard Lapasset leads the French committee of international sports (CFSI) and is responsible for the three-part study. He continues to meet decision-makers to complete his final report.
    Paris last hosted the 1924 Olympics.

    The IOC will select a host at the 2017 IOC Session.

    Reported by Mark Bisson

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