India is considering making a bid for the 2024 Olympics, it has been revealed.
According to local media reports, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is keen on attracting the world’s biggest sporting event to India, and will meet International Olympic Committee president, Thomas Bach, in Delhi later this month.
The Times of India quoted an unnamed “official source” as saying that the government is “exploring the possibility of India hosting the Olympics”.
The source added however, that the government “does not want a repeat of the 2010 Commonwealth Games” which are believed to have gone significantly over-budget.
The Commonwealth Games were also plagued by corruption scandals, delayed construction projects and negative media reports about the standard of accommodation, and the IOC suspended India in 2012 for re-electing officials facing corruption charges. This forced Indian athletes to compete under the IOC flag in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia.
The prospect of hosting the Olympics in India would still be tempting for the IOC however. Having seen the summer Games in China in 2008 and Brazil in 2016, along with the Winter Games in Russia in 2014, organisers would be keen to add the fourth ‘BRIC’ country to its list of hosts, especially given the potential local audience of approximately 1.3 billion people.
If India does win the bid, it would mark the first time the Olympics has been hosted in a South Asian country. But Delhi will face stiff competition for the event; Rome and Boston have already declared their interest in hosting the 2024 Games, and will both be strong candidates. Hamburg is likely to be an outsider, but more bids could still be launched over the coming months.
The host city of the 2024 Olympics will be announced in September 2017.