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World Cup: IOC chief praises Cup host; stays mum on South Africa's Olympic bid

July 10, 2010 |  7:26 am

International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge congratulated South Africa on an "outstanding success" as host of the World Cup on Saturday, but both he and South African President Jacob Zuma stopped short of suggesting the World Cup accomplishments might boost a future Olympic bid by South Africa.

There has been widespread discussion in South Africa of whether Cape Town or Durban might launch a bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics -- a possibility that Rogge has encouraged in the past.

Zuma, in an interview this month with FIFA, said: "I don't see why we can't bid to host the Olympics."

The Associated Press said the two leaders took no questions when they emerged from their meeting Saturday to make brief comments on the steps of the presidential residence in Pretoria.

Rogge said the 2010 World Cup "is something that will be remembered for a very long time -- something that will make Africa proud."

Zuma said he thanked Rogge for the role the IOC played during the apartheid era, excluding South Africa from competition until it finally abandoned white minority rule.

The IOC's decision on the host for the 2020 Olympics will be made in 2013, but preliminary bids must be submitted next year.

The prospect of a South African bid received a boost on Thursday from FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

"If there is any country in Africa that can host the Olympics, it is South Africa," Blatter said at a media briefing. "I can tell you now if a country can host a FIFA World Cup successfully, that country can definitely organize the Olympics."

Africa is the only populated continent that has never hosted an Olympics. Cape Town missed out on the 2004 Games in a vote held in 1997, coming in third behind winner Athens and Rome.

-- Kevin Baxter in Johannesburg, South Africa

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