Supporters Union pushes for Durban to host 2020 Olympic Games
Sarfo Abrebrese, Founder and President of COSUA who addressed the press in South Africa said after the successful hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, South Africa represents hope and aspirations of the entire African continent to host yet another global sporting event in Africa within the next decade.
According to Mr Abrebrese, the much anticipated bid by the city of Durban for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games comes with greater socio-political ramifications in Africa than just a bid by one city or even one nation to host a sporting event.
Mr Abrebrese said the impending COSUA delegates’ conference in Durban will bring together over 350 delegates from all the 53 countries of Africa and the diaspora to, among others affirm their commitment and support for the Durban 2020.
He said during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the peoples of Africa were united as one in support of the host nation, “South Africa, with the Africa Union declaring the year 2007 as the ‘African Year of Football’, which served as the platform for a continental unity campaign in the build-up to the 2010 World Cup.
The President of COSUA said it has thus become an opportunity to sustain a full decade of Pan-African renaissance around sports and completing the African unity agenda with 2010 as the initial standard point as the continent looks forward to yet another first-ever historic hosting of a global sporting event, the Summer Olympics, in the port city of Durban.
“So important is this commitment to Durban 2020, that COSUA leaders from all the 53 African countries are coming together for the delegates’ conference in Durban later this month to lend the entire continent’s support to the 2020 bid.
They have therefore impressed on the 123rd I.O.C. General Assembly, and the whole world that Africa stands together with Durban in support of the bid.
“It is against this background that the recent announcement by the South African cabinet not to go ahead with the bid for the 2020 Olympics bid, was received with disappointment and pain throughout Africa”. He noted.
Mr Abrebrese said the Coalition comprising all Sports Supporters Groups in Africa will entreat the Government of South Africa, to reconsider its decision in the interest of the broad masses of Africans who look up to this great nation to continue to lead the way in bringing to their doorsteps, historic events they had never dreamt of witnessing personally.
The President of COSUA therefore appealed to the government of South Africa, to reconsider its decision not to back the Durban bid, even though they appreciate the need to shelve the bid to enable the government apply the stated $50 million cost to pressing social service needs of the South African people.
“It is our belief, however, that the financial burden of canvassing a bid for Durban 2020 can be a shared burden, if the entire continent of Africa is mobilized”. He stated.
As part of the congress, a Gala Dinner in Johannesburg in honour of former President Nelson Mandela will be organised where he will be presented with “Icon Of Africa” Award instituted in his honour in 2009 to commemorate his 93rd birthday.