Egyptian President Abdul Fattah El-Sisi has given the go-ahead for his nation to bid for the 2036 Olympic Games, a lofty goal that could position Egypt as the first African or Arab nation to host the world’s largest sports event.
The announcement was made by Sport and Youth Minister Ashraf Sobhi during a reception for visiting International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach in Cairo last week. Egyptian Olympic officials will now enter into an ongoing dialogue with the IOC among other regions that are vying to host the next available Summer Games.
Last year the IOC unexpectedly awarded the 2032 Games to Brisbane in a preemptive announcement that occurred years ahead of the typical seven-year lead time while other hopeful nations, including Egypt, were left behind. Now nations are raising their hands early and interest to host in 2036 has already emerged from India, Indonesia, Turkey, Qatar, Britain, Germany, Mexico, Russia, Hungary and Spain. While nations prepare, Bach has hinted that the next Summer games won’t be awarded until after his successor is elected in 2025.
Sobhi first hinted interest in an Olympic bid in 2018 when he laid out a sports roadmap for Egypt that includes hosting a FIFA World Cup. Plans for a joint bid with Greece and Saudi Arabia for the 2030 edition of the the football championship are currently underway.
Cairo unsuccessfully bid to host the 2008 Olympic Games, and Alexandria in Egypt failed to land the 1916 Games that were later canceled due to World War I, and the 1936 Games that were instead awarded to Berlin. The only other bid from Africa was by Cape Town, South Africa for the 2004 Games.
Egypt’s only FIFA World Cup bid ended in disaster when its campaign to host the 2010 event failed to win even a single vote from a FIFA panel.
The next Summer Games are set for Paris in 2024 with an opening ceremony expected to be staged along the River Seine. Los Angeles will host the 2028 edition.