Wednesday, 01 November 2017 11:33

Sebastian Coe discuss bid for 2023 IAAF World Championships in Budapest

International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Sebastian Coe has met Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán during a visit to Budapest, the city favourite to host the 2023 World Championships.

 

The Hungarian capital has been in regular discussions with the IAAF for several months now about staging their flagship event and appears to have a clear run following the decision earlier this month by the Confederation of African Athletics not to put forward for the 2023 World Championships and instead wait until 2025.

An announcement is not due to be made by the IAAF's ruling Council about awarding the 2023 World Championships until the end of next year.But Coe last year revealed he wanted to ditch the traditional model of cities bidding for major championships and instead launched a new system to choose hosts for major IAAF events.

This involved prioritising informal consultations with cities before announcing a chosen host.

"Our sport needs much stronger relationships than in the past with Governments at national and regional level," he told insidethegames after arriving here from Budapest for the Association of National Olympic Committees General Assembly.

"In liberal democracies it depends on Governments and politicians being able to sell sport to taxpayers.

"It means going forward we need to be robust with these organisations."

Hungary have vowed to continue bidding for major events, despite the city's Olympic bid for 2024 collapsing in February after local opponents of the bid submitted a quarter-of-a-million signatures in a petition demanding a local referendum in Budapest on the issue.

Balázs Fürjes, chair of Budapest 2024 and Government Commissioner for flagship Budapest developments, revealed to insidethegames earlier this year that the Hungarian capital still plans to build many of the facilities they proposed if they were awarded the Games.

This includes the main Olympic Stadium along the banks of the River Danube, which would host the IAAF World Championships.Fürjes demonstrated Budapest's plans to Coe on a large scale digital model.

"When you have a Government that wants to build an athletics stadium you need to meet with them," Coe told insidethegames.

"I want this to be a much more interactive process.

"I don't want to sit there any longer waiting for someone to offer to bid for our Championships.

"We need absolutely to know a bid meets the needs of a city and leaves indelible mark on our sport."