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Africa eyes bid for 2025 World Athletics Championships

Hamad Kalkaba Malboum, president of the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA), has revealed that the continent will bid to host the 2025 edition of the International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) World Championships.

It would mark the first time the event has been held in Africa, and Kalkaba said a bid would likely come from one of six nations.

“We are talking with Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco – those countries have the facilities,” Kalkaba said, according to the BBC. “I have very positive sounds from some of them.”

The Moroccan capital of Rabat currently hosts a leg of the IAAF’s annual Diamond League competition. Casablanca in Morocco also submitted a bid to host the 2011 World Athletics Championships but lost out to Daegu in South Korea.

“People said that Africa could not host the World Cup in football, but we did it very successfully,” Kalkaba added, referring to the 2010 edition of the national team tournament in South Africa.

Kalkaba also said that IAAF president Sebastian Coe is “supporting the fact” that Africa could host the organisation’s showpiece event in 2025.

Kalkaba added that social problems such as health, education and infrastructure have made political leaders reluctant to bid for the event in the past.

“But I think many now realise that (staging the championships) could put the nation on the world map in terms of publicity and promote tourism so there is a benefit from hosting the event,” Kalkaba said. “This was not the case in the past.”

The World Athletics Championships are held every two years and the 2017 edition recently concluded in London, England. The 2019 and 2021 events will be held in Doha, Qatar and the US city of Eugene, respectively. The host of the 2023 event has not yet been announced.

Kenya finished second in the medal table at London 2017, with South Africa placing third and Ethiopia finishing seventh.