African athletics chief sees six potential hosts for 2025 World Championships
There will be an African bid to host athletics’ IAAF World Championships in 2025, according to the head of the sport’s continental governing body.
Africa produces some of the world’s top track athletes, but has never hosted the biennial athletics showpiece nor, for that matter, the Olympic Games.
However, Sebastian Coe, the president of the IAAF, said prior to the recent World Championships in London that he had “started conversations” with the Confederation of African Athletics about taking more championships to the region.
CAA president Hamad Kalkaba Malboum sees no reason why it cannot aim for the top and claims that six countries are considering bidding for the 2025 World Championships.
Malboum, an IAAF vice-president from Cameroon, told BBC Sport: "We are talking with Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco - those countries have the facilities. I have very positive sounds from some of them.”
He also claimed that Coe “is supporting the fact that Africa could host the World Championships.”
Rabat in Morocco is the only African stop in the Diamond League, the annual series of international athletics meetings, and Casablanca, another city in the country, was unsuccessful with a bid for the 2011 World Championships.
However, Malboum said that the continent had this year shown its credentials for staging major events with Uganda’s hosting of the World Cross Country Championships and Kenya’s hosting of the World Under-18 Championships.
He added: “People said that Africa could not host the World Cup in football, but we did it very successfully [in South Africa in 2010].”
In the wake of London 2017, Hassan Wario, the Kenyan sports minister, said his country planned to bid to host the next available World Championships in 2023.
Kalkaba believes that would be too soon for Africa, but can see wide interest in the subsequent edition, saying: “I think many [countries] 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. This was not the case in the past."
There is not expected to be a decision on the host of the 2025 World Championships until 2020.
The next edition will take place in Doha in Qatar in 2019 and be followed by the 2021 championships in Eugene in Oregon, USA.
Kenya finished second, with five gold medals, and South Africa joint third, with three golds, in the London 2017 medal table.