Africa can’t bid for World Championships yet – Hicham El Guerrouj

By (Follow on Twitter @ Yommie_ATAF)
Moroccan distance running legend, Hicham El Guerrouj, has said it would take another decade before any African federation can realistically bid for an IAAF World Championship.

Speaking with the international media ahead of the in Monaco on Thursday, El Guerrouj said for that to happen the federations need to change their thinking and work with their national governments to do so.

“Africa has given so much to the sport and it would be great if Africa can one day organise the World Championships but, to do that, we need to change our thinking,” said , a 2014 inductee into the IAAF Hall of Fame.

“We need to work more with the governments because a big event like a World Championships can’t be organised without government support in that country.

“We need the federations to change their way of thinking and to approach the government so that when we organise such an event it is a win-win situation for everybody.

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“If an African country was to win the right to host the World Championships, I would be the happiest person on the planet.

“We also need to realise that at the moment there are only certain areas in Africa that can organise a World Championships. North Africa, Kenya and South Africa are the only realistic possibilities to organise the championships at the moment.”

“With 2019 having just been awarded, there has been some talk about which cities will present their candidature for 2021 so we have to look further to 2023, 2025 and 2027,” he added.

Hicham El Guerrouj, 40, won four successive 1500m titles at the from 1997 to 2003.