— Published 26 September 2022

Egypt advances its pawns

Things are moving forward in Egypt. The country wants the Summer Olympics. It even dreams of being the first African nation to organise the event. And it is no longer making a secret of it. The Minister of Youth and Sports, Ashraf Sobhi, took advantage of Thomas Bach’s visit to Cairo at the end of last week to make official the desire of the Egyptian authorities to prepare a bid for the Summer Games in 2036. “President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi has given his agreement for Egypt to bid to host the Games in 2036,” explained the minister in the presence of the IOC president. Not surprisingly, Thomas Bach publicly encouraged the Egyptians to move forward with their project. “Egypt has a solid sports infrastructure and if it can host the Games, it will be historic for it,” he said at a press conference in the New Administrative Capital, located about 50 kilometres from Cairo. At this stage, the Egyptian file still lacks thickness, but the head of state, Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, seems to want to make sport one of the axes of development of the country. In addition to the Summer Games in 2036, Egypt has its eye on the World Cup in 2030. It would make common cause on this project with Greece and Saudi Arabia.