The Egyptian Sports Minister, Ashraf Sobhi, declared interest in hosting the 2036 Summer Olympic Games in early January. He stated that the country will submit an official bid to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) soon. “President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has allowed Egypt to bid for the 2036 Olympics,” Sobhi said. and if successful, Egypt would become the first African and Arab country to host the Olympics. Bach told a joint news conference with Sobhi “Egypt has a solid sports infrastructure and it would be historic if it could host the Olympics.”
According to the 53-year-old president, Egypt can host any global event and is a perfect fit for the 2036 summer Olympic Games. Given the African continent’s long exclusion from hosting the event, Egypt seems like a great place to start. He has also announced a couple of developments to go along with the bid. These include plans for the proposed International Olympic City.
Egypt has competed in 23 Summer Olympic Games since the tournament’s inception in Sweden in 1912, racking up 8 gold, 11 silver, and 19 bronze medals.
What is Included in the Bid?
Even though international heavyweights such as Russia and Spain have expressed keen interest in the bidding process, the Egyptian bid stands out for various reasons. Sobhi expressed this during a recent meeting with Mustapha Berraf. As the president of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA), Berraf expressed his support for an African country hosting the tournament as soon as possible. ANOCA brings together the national Olympic committees of the 54 African countries. The organization’s headquarters are in Abuja, Nigeria.
Egypt, according to Sobhi, is preparing comprehensive documentation to accompany the proposal. He also went over plans for infrastructure upgrades in preparation for the Olympics.
Egypt would be the First Arab Nation to Host the Summer Olympics
This is not only a big move for African countries, but for the Arab world as well. To date there has not been an Olympic event hosted in the Arab world. With Qatar set to host the 2022 World Cup, Egypt shouldn’t be far behind with hosting a world event.
In November 2021, IOC President Thomas Bach expressed his desire for an African country to host the Olympic Games before stepping down in 2025. However, it is now clear that his wishes are unrealistic, given that China, France, Italy, and the United States have already been designated as the next in line.
Africa is the only continent that has yet to host the Olympics. Now that the existing list will cover at least a decade, he hopes that an African country will secure a spot in 2036 or 2040.
How Egypt is preparing for the Summer Olympics in 2036
The country’s sports minister reported that Egypt has already begun construction on Egypt International Olympic City. This impressive sports complex will cost millions of dollars to build.
Egypt is constructing infrastructure as one of the pillar projects in the new administrative capital being built 45 kilometers east of Cairo. Currently, the largest stadium in Egypt, Borg El Arab, has a capacity of approximately 86,000 people.
The new megastructure will house a 90,000-person stadium, an indoor venue, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, and tennis courts.
Is Egypt a Good Fit?
Despite having the upper hand in the bid, Egypt faces stiff competition from Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, and Spain. All of which have expressed interest in hosting the games in the same year. The rivalry, combined with Egypt’s illustrious history of boycotting the games in 1956 due to British and French interference in its Suez Canal tug-of-war with Israel, may jeopardize its chances.
Nonetheless, when weighing all the factors, such matters are insignificant. Regardless, Minister Sobhi sees significant potential in the opportunity as part of Egypt’s ambition to reclaim its athletic supremacy while also strengthening its economic resilience.
The Olympics have a long history of boosting host country economies through trade and tourism. However, Sobhi stated that national officials would need to assess their bid’s logistical, technical, and financial aspects before submitting it to the IOC.
Is Egypt likely to Triumph?
Egypt is expected to become one of the Middle East’s largest economies by 2030. Egypt will be unrivaled in Africa and the Middle East if the projections come true. The selection criterion for an Olympic host is based on a secret ballot voting system among active IOC members. Citizens of a candidate country are the only IOC members not allowed to vote.
Given Egypt’s robust sports infrastructure, development projects in the works, the country’s growing international influence, and the region’s protracted stability, a bid for the 2036 Summer Olympics is not out of the question.
On February 3, 2022, Egyptian President El-Sisi traveled to China for the 24th Winter Olympic Games in Beijing. The president stated that he intends to strengthen the two countries mutual vision and strategic relations, as well as discuss and coordinate several regional and international issues involving the two countries.
As the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia boycott the Winter Olympics this year, Egypt’s president will undoubtedly be one of the competition’s special guests. Such cooperation will only bolster Egypt’s bid for future Olympic events.
Lately, An Egyptian official announced earlier this month that Egypt, Greece, and Saudi Arabia were in talks to jointly host the 2030 World Cup. While Egypt hosted the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and last year’s World Handball Championship amid the Covid-19 pandemic. We keep high hopes for Egypt.