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Volume 6 No. 216


Slovakia PM Robert Fico revealed that his country "supports the idea of a joint bid" for the 2022 Winter Olympics with neighbor Poland, according to Santa & Borowski of REUTERS. Fico met with representatives of the Slovak Olympic Committee, the High Tatras mountains 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." Fico said, "The fundamental question is whether we can afford it or not, whether we have the needed infrastructure for disciplines expected to take place here." Fico said that he "envisaged Slovakia hosting ice hockey and skiing events." It is estimated hosting the Games would cost $1.5B-$2B, but it "would be shared between" the IOC, which was expected to provide about 40% of the funds, and the two countries, "with Poland providing the larger share" (REUTERS, 1/24).

Teams qualifying for the knock-out stages of the 2020 Olympic football competitions "may face some late nights if Tokyo wins the right to stage the Games," according to David Owen of INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL. The official bid book for the Japanese city, which was made public this month, indicates that several matches, from the quarterfinal stages onward, "could be allotted" finishing times of as late as midnight. One possible reason for the late time slots "could be to maximize live TV audiences in Europe" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 1/23).