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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 September, 2003, 15:42 GMT 16:42 UK
Brussels drops bid for 2016 Games
The King Baudoin Stadium will be central to Brussels' bid
The King Baudoin Stadium would be central to Brussels' bid
Belgian capital Brussels has dropped its planned bid for the right to host the 2016 Olympics.

The regional government of Flanders said the goal was unattainable and will instead focus funds on preparing top-rate athletes.

"The visit to the Athens Olympics showed that organizing the games are a dream in both senses of the word," said Flemish sports minister Bert Anciaux.

"Let's be humble and invest 6.6m in our top sports program."

International Olympic Committee chief Jacques Rogge, a Belgian, had supported the idea.

He praised Brussels facilities, which include a 47,500-seat stadium, an airport, and a large hotel capacity.

Rogge has estimated the cost of hosting a modern games cost at between $2bn and $5bn, but added that the economic benefits far outweighed the financial costs.

Brussels is home to the European Union and NATO.

Beijing organizes the summer games in 2008 and Paris, London, Madrid, New York and Moscow are bidding for the 2012 edition.




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