Azeri capital Baku’s 2020 summer Olympics bid is growing stronger by the day thanks to a billion-dollar investment in sport infrastructure fueled by the country’s large oil and natural gas reserves and the race’s unexpected twists and turns, officials say.
“Every day the bid is getting better because we become more confident and there is more value to it,” Azeri Sports Minister Azad Rahimov told Reuters on the sidelines of the London 2012 Olympics torch-lighting ceremony in ancient Olympia. Baku is up against Tokyo, İstanbul, Doha and Madrid with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announcing a shortlist of candidates later this month. The IOC will elect the winning bid at their 2013 session in Buenos Aires. Turkey has decided to also bid for the Euro 2020 football championship, triggering concerns about whether İstanbul can host two huge events in a span of two months. The IOC has said that, while there is nothing in its charter to forbid such a double bid, it would ask Turkey, the sole bidder so far for the Euros with a deadline of May 15, to hand back the football tournament if it should be awarded the Games as well.