India has abandoned its bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2032, International Olympic Committee (IOC) former Vice President John Coates said Tuesday.
Speaking on 4BC News Talk Radio in Australia, Coates, who also serves as President of the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC), sized up the emerging bid race that is currently being dominated by a strong campaign from Queensland state and capital Brisbane.
“India was looking at it but they are looking now at the Youth Olympic Games,” Coates said.
An IOC spokesperson later rebutted Coates remarks in a statement to GamesBids.com, explaining “the Indian Olympic Association continues to be in dialogue with the IOC over the possible hosting future Olympic Games.”
Projects engaged in talks with the IOC’s Future Host Commissions are in the pipeline for all upcoming Olympic editions, so India’s dialogue could put a bid in line for 2032 – but also 2036 and beyond.
President of India’s National Olympic Committee Narinder Batra last year laid out an aggressive hosting plan leading towards a possible 2032 Games.
Last June he said “we are looking at 2026 Youth Olympic Games, and the IOC Congress in 2021 … we have also expressed our interest to host the 2030 Asian Games so that the infrastructure will be ready early and it will just be a two-year gap to the Olympics.”
According to Coates’ comments India has continued to show interest in the Youth Olympics. But with the possibility that the 2032 Games will be awarded before the end of next year, time is running out for that edition.
Coates is appropriately backing his Australian project and is also the architect behind the new IOC bid process that dropped many of the formalities – including submission deadlines.
Coates, outlining the other potential candidates, said “the Vice President of Indonesia has put in a letter.”
“The Koreans say they’d like a joint bid with South and North Korea.
“There was some talk about 12 cities from north Germany having a look but that hasn’t eventuated.”
Both Shanghai in China and a project from Spain have been named in the past as possible bidders, but no serious discussions with the IOC have emerged.
Earlier this week reports in the Netherlands suggested Dutch Olympians and businesses were preparing a bid proposal to present to the government.
To date, Queensland is the only bid to have launched an official dialogue with the IOC and expects to submit a formal bid by July. It is perceived to be the front runner in this race, but there is no set election timetable. IOC sources have said that the winning city will be chosen “when the timing is right.”
Queensland has recently faced opposition from the right-wing populist One Nation party who have launched a billboard campaign and circulated a petition to have the matter debated in Parliament.
Coates rejected One Nation claims that the potential Games will cost AUD $12 billion and will likely go over budget.
He said “the studies [One Nation leader Pauline Hanson] cites are old, the IOC now has a different approach to hosting the Games.
“We will adapt to a city rather than having the city adapt to us.”
Coates insists that with the large promised IOC cash injection, the Games will be cost-neutral and without a need for taxpayer contributions.
Tokyo will host the Games in July this year. Paris is scheduled to host in 2024 and Los Angeles in 2028.