Olympics: Too early to talk about French 2024 bid, says minister

BUENOS AIRES (AFP) - French sports minister Valerie Fourneyron has refused to say whether the country will bid for the 2024 Olympics after Tokyo won the race for the 2020 edition.

Speaking in Buenos Aires late on Wednesday, she accepted that the unwritten rotation principle meant that awarding the 2020 Games to the Japanese capital opened the way for another continent to host the event four years later.

But Ms Fourneyron told AFP: "Let's be clear: it's too early to say that France will be a candidate in 2024."

After four failed bids to land the Games, the priority now was to work on feasibility studies and to improve the chances of a French bid, she said.

"An Olympic bid isn't only a technical bid about equipment and competition sites, it's also a question of the social acceptability of the project for the country," she added.

"Before settling on a bid, we will have to look at all of these things."

Cities around the world have until September 2015 to submit their bids for the 2024 Games, which would mark the centenary of the 1924 Paris Games.

An Asian candidate appears to be unlikely given that Tokyo hosts the 2020 Games two years after the Winter Olympics are held in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The failure of Madrid and Istanbul this time round has paved the way for other prospective bidders, with Paris, which also hosted the 1900 edition, and Rome, host in 1960, mentioned as possible candidates.

Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta said late on Sunday that the country could be "serious candidates" for 2024 with either Milan or Rome.