Slovakia backs joint 2022 Winter Games bid with Poland

BRATISLAVA Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:57pm IST

Inside the Peshawar school

Inside the Peshawar school

The aftermath inside the Pakistan school where at least 132 students and nine staff members were killed by Taliban gunmen.  Pictures 

BRATISLAVA (Reuters) - Slovakia supports the idea of a joint bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics with neighbour Poland, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said on Thursday.

The two European countries share a border straddled by the High Tatras mountains, a favourite winter holiday destination for locals and tourists from Russia and Ukraine.

Fico met representatives of the Slovak Olympic Committee, the High Tatras regions and the national ice hockey and ski associations in the northern town of Poprad, which unsuccessfully bid for the 2002 and 2006 Winter Games, to debate the plan.

"The fundamental question is whether we can afford it or not, whether we have the needed infrastructure for disciplines expected to take place here," Slovak news agency TASR cited Fico as saying.

Poland's Sports Ministry has said it would back a proposal to co-host the Winter Olympics and the government would soon discuss providing the necessary guarantees for the bid.

The Slovak government is expected to announce its formal support for the bid by the end of February.

Poland successfully co-hosted last year's Euro soccer championship with Ukraine.

Fico said he envisaged Slovakia hosting ice hockey and skiing events. The cost of hosting the Games, estimated at between $1.5 and $2 billion, would be shared between the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which was expected to provide some 40 percent of the funds, and the two countries with Poland providing the larger share.

The IOC has set November 2013 as the application deadline and the host city will be elected in July 2015.

Fico, who plays soccer and goes running, said Slovakia should not be over-ambitious about the plans.

"We mustn't have big eyes," he said. "It would be a great success should we succeed with Poland, the candidacy alone will mean further PR for Slovakia and it will be a great opportunity for development of the infrastructure."

(Reporting by Martin Santa and Chris Borowski; Editing by Clare Fallon)

Sports Roundup

REUTERS SHOWCASE

26/11 Accused

26/11 Accused

Pakistan to appeal bail for Mumbai attack "mastermind".  Full Article 

Android For cars

Android For cars

Exclusive: Google aiming to go straight into car with next Android – sources.  Full Article 

Mass Stabbing

Mass Stabbing

Eight children killed in Australia in reported mass stabbing.  Full Article 

In Distress

In Distress

Former SpiceJet owner leading rescue plan: reports.  Full Article 

PM's Moves

PM's Moves

Modi moves in to speed up $300 billion stuck projects.  Full Article 

Losing Popularity

Losing Popularity

Dalai Lama's star waning in the West, China official says.  Full Article 

Tis' The Season

Tis' The Season

Stars around the world wish you Happy Holidays.  Video 

Cyber Warfare

Cyber Warfare

For N.Korea's cyber army, long-term target may be telecoms, utility grids.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device   Full Coverage