November 4, 2014 / 3:33 PM / in 3 years

Paris 2024 bid could be boosted by public funding

France's Isabelle Yacoubou is seen during the women's preliminary round Group B basketball match against Canada at the Basketball Arena during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 1, 2012. REUTERS/Sergio Perez

PARIS (Reuters) - Although France has not decided if it will bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games, the country’s Olympic Committee (CNOSF) is already planning a public funding operation to finance a possible candidacy for Paris.

The CNOSF will say in January whether it wants to enter the race for the 2024 Games before French president Francois Hollande makes the final decision before September.

The French Committee for International Sport (CFSI) is currently carrying out a study into the possibility of a French Olympic bid. Paris was stunned to lose out to London in the race for the 2012 Games.

“There are strong possibilities (that we want to run),” CNOSF president Denis Masseglia told reporters on Tuesday.

It will, however, be the government that decides if Paris is to be a candidate.

Whether the United States bids could also be a factor but Masseglia believes the key is to secure the support of the French people.

“We’ll listen to the conclusions of the (CFSI) study in January and then we’ll have about five months until the end of June to trigger the excitement of the French people,” Masseglia said, adding that a televised fund-raising program could help.

“We can imagine that over 24 hours ... all the sports friendly people in France contribute to the dream,” he said.

Whether the public funding operation helped secure the estimated 50-80 million euros ($63-100 million) that a bid would cost is not essential, according to Masseglia.

“There is a point in showing the number of people who are interested, it’s the best opinion poll,” he said.

The French successful bid to host the 2018 Ryder Cup was partly financed by the licensees, Masseglia said.

Germany has announced that it will bid for the 2024 Games through Berlin or Hamburg. A string of potential hosts, including a U.S. city, Istanbul, Paris, Rome, Doha and a city from Africa, are also considering bids.

The 2016 Summer Games will be held in Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo will stage the 2020 Olympics.

Editing by Ed Osmond

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