TAIPEI: Taiwanese boxing chief Wu Ching-kuo, who is seeking the presidency of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), pledged Sunday to hold an Olympic Games in Africa if elected.
“The Olympic Games have taken place on all five continents but Africa, and therefore I will do my utmost to help bring about an African Games,” Wu told the state Central News Agency.
Cape Town in South Africa bid in 1997 to host the 2004 Summer Olympics, but the event went to Athens.
Wu said that if elected, he would strive to find an African candidate in the last year of his tenure in 2021, when the host of the 2028 Games will be chosen.
“Africa’s athletic performance and the resources it has access to are really disproportionate,” he said.
Wu, 65, will take on five competitors hoping to succeed outgoing president Jacques Rogge at an election in September in Buenos Aires.
They are Germany’s Thomas Bach, Ng Ser Miang of Singapore, Puerto Rican banker Richard Carrion, Denis Oswald from Switzerland and Sergei Bubka of Ukraine.
Wu has said that if elected, he will serve only eight years, given the huge workload. According to IOC rules, the president is allowed to run for another four years after an eight-year term.
He also wants to increase the maximum permitted number of IOC members by 15 to a total of 130, and lower the age of athletes competing in the Youth Olympic Games from the current range of 14-18.
Wu said he would also push to remove the ban on visits by IOC members to host cities. The ban was imposed in the aftermath of the 1998 Salt Lake city scandal, during which several IOC members were expelled for allegedly taking bribes.
When asked if Beijing would support his candidacy, Wu said that “as of now there is no negative signal” but declined to give details. China claims sovereignty over Taiwan.