(ATR) The next African Games in Morocco have achieved another record: Olympic qualification in 18 disciplines.
Rabat is one of five Moroccan cities chosen for African Games (Getty Images)
This attractive opportunity was confirmed during the first three-day meeting that concluded a few hours ago between the African Union, the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA), the Union of African Sports Confederations (USCA) and the Organizing Committee of the African Games Rabat 2019 (COJAR).
The first record set by Morocco was for the shortest time to organize an African Games. After Equatorial Guinea resigned due to economic problems in September 2017, Morocco was selected the new host in July 2018 with the official agreement to organize them signed in November in Rabat.
A spokesman for the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) in Lausanne told Around the Rings
that between the continental games of Africa and America, both this summer, more than 40 places will be determined for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
"And it is ANOC's purpose to consolidate further the negotiations with the international federations in the next cycle 2019-2023 to attract more the presence of the best athletes in search of the largest number of Olympic positions in the various regional games," he said.
The official said that soon ANOC will make public the composition of all its committees that will have their first meetings next February.
The 12th edition of the African Games will be held from August 19 to 31, while the Pan American Games in Lima will run from July 26 to August 9 and will provide Olympic qualifications in a record 23 events.
Rachid Talbi Alami, Minister of Youth and Sports of Morocco, said that five cities have been chosen for the Games: Rabat, Salé, Khémisset, Casablanca and Témara (Dayet Erroumi for canoe-kayak).
"These cities provide optimal housing conditions, especially thanks to their university cities, in addition to infrastructure that meets international standards," the minister said, according to local newspaper Le Matin
The president of the Union of African Sports Confederations, the Egyptian Ahmed Nasser, relied on an exceptional edition: "We have no doubts about the organizational capacity of Morocco, which has already demonstrated its potential through events in the past. We thank His Majesty King Mohammed VI for agreeing to organize these games, despite the reduced time "
The next host will be Ghana in 2023.
The Vice President of the National Olympic Committee, Kamal Lahlou, considered that the Moroccan effort in organizing the Games could be in the Guinness records.
The president of ANOCA, the Algerian Mustapha Berraf evoked the opportunities of commercialization of the event and the consequences in terms of image, with regard to the event as a springboard for the Olympic Games of 2020.
The representative of the African Union, Cissé Mariama Mohammed, recalled that when the AU made an urgent call to save the Games no nation spoke. Morocco accepted the great challenge. "We have visited the sites to organize the event and we have no doubt about their organizational capabilities."
The 12th edition of the African Games awaits the participation of more than 5,000 athletes from the 54 member states of the African Union, in 29 disciplines.
Some 2,000 volunteers have been summoned, a figure similar to that of officials, judges and arbitrators.
The disciplines with Olympic qualifications are: athletics, rowing, canoeing, karate, swimming, weightlifting, beach volleyball, tennis, cycling, judo, wrestling, taekwondo, table tennis, fencing, sports shooting, archery, badminton and triathlon.
The Moroccan authorities have reiterated that their country still dreams of hosting an Olympics.
Morocco has been invited to the join Spain and Portugal in a bid to host the 2030 FIFA Football World Cup.
The North African country fell short last year in the vote to host the 2026 World Cup, losing to the joint bid from the United States, Mexico and Canada.
Now, by saving the African Games of 2019 in record time, Morocco sends an important signal as a possible candidate to organize the first Olympic Games on African soil. At the level of Olympic Youth Games, Senegal will make history in the summer of 2022.
Reported by Miguel Hernandez.
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