Zuma says country up to it

SOUTH Africa's successful hosting of the World Cup so far has increased the prospects of the continent's richest country being in line to host the Olympics when bidding opens for the 2020 Games.

SOUTH Africa's successful hosting of the World Cup so far has increased the prospects of the continent's richest country being in line to host the Olympics when bidding opens for the 2020 Games.

But the biggest hurdle may not come from winning approval abroad.

It may come from convincing people at home recovering from a post-Cup hangover to spend lavishly again on another global sports party when the country is battling massive unemployment and poverty.

"The World Cup has brought a short-term public relations boost for the government but after it is over, reality bites," said Gary van Staden, a political analyst in South Africa with NKC, an independent economic consulting firm.

President Jacob Zuma told Reuters on Tuesday that his country was up to the task and South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee chief executive Tubby Reddy said yesterday that momentum has been gathering to bring the Games to Africa for the first time.

"I would think the world has taken notice that we can put on a world-class event," Reddy said.

Zuma said after South Africa's 2-1 win over France on Tuesday: "Those who take decisions (about the hosting of the world event) have seen how South Africa is. We could do it." - Reuters

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