Moroccan Sports and Youth Minister Moncef Belkhayat, ANOCA President
General Lasanna Palenfo and Two time Olympic Gold medalist
(1500m & 5000m) Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj. Photo by Jean Tchaffo.
MARRAKECH, March 21,2011 - The Moroccan Government will begin construction of an 80 000-seater capacity stadium in Casablanca next year as it prepares to bid for either the 2024 or 2028 Olympic games.
Moroccan Minister for Youth and Sports, Moncef Belkhayat on Saturday confirmed that the capital city Casablanca had been picked as the strongest city that could deliver the North African dream to host the global sporting event.
"I strongly believe in Africa's capability to organize two Olympic Games in the 2020s',said Belkhayat during the gala ceremony of the Africa Sports Convention in Marakech where several sports men and women were inducted into the hall of fame.
"It is clear now that the decision to construct the stadium in Casablanca was decided with one clear vision to position the Kingdom of Morocco as a candidate to bid for the Olympic Games."
The pronouncement came at the end of a week that saw Morocco’s' touristic city, Marrakech host two continental sporting seminars- the ‘Salon International Du Sport' held at the newly constructed Marrakech stadium and the fifth edition of the Africa Sports Convention, CISA. The 'sports salon' was an initiative of the Moroccan sports Ministry to discuss how to market and develop sports in the region.
" We have proved that that we can organize events by hosting the Mediterranean Games, the African Youth Olympic Games last year and we shall organize the 2015 Cup of Nations then it will be time for the Olympics."
The CISA conference is organized Diamil Faye of Jappo that seek to give the continental sports stakeholders a platform to discuss how to develop, Market and preserve sporting excellence in Africa.
Kenyan marathoner Tegla Loroupe and Niger's only Olympic medalist, a bronze won by Issaka Dabore at the 1972 Games in Munich were among the athletes inducted into the CISA hall of fame.
The next edition of CISA will be held in Bamako, Mali in 2012.
• Sport Development: International Hockey Federation
• Sport Humanitarian: Foot solidarité, France
• Promotion of Sport for the Disabled: Dr. Hossam El Din Mostafa Saad (Egypt)
• CISA Special Award: Mr. Issaka Dabore (Niger)
Africa Sports Hall of Fame
• Female Athlete: Tegla Lorope (Athletic, Kenya)
• Male Athlete: Salif Keïta (Football, Mali)
• Technical Person: Dr Kostre Woldemeskel (Athletic, Ethiopia)
• Sport Leader/Administrator: Abdoulaye Sèye (Basketball, Senegal)
(By Evelyn Watta, AIPS Executive Committee Member)