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Slovakia Supports Joint 2022 Winter Bid With Poland

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Reuters reports Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said Thursday that Slovakia would support a joint bid with Poland for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

Fico met representatives of the Slovak Olympic Committee, the High Tatras regions, and the national ice hockey and ski associations in the northern town of Poprad, which unsuccessfully bid for the 2002 and 2006 Winter Games, to debate the plan.

Slovak news agency TASR reports Fico said, "the fundamental question is whether we can afford it or not, whether we have the needed infrastructure for disciplines expected to take place here".

Poland's Sports Ministry has said it would back a proposal to co-host the Winter Olympics, and the government would soon discuss providing the necessary guarantees for the bid.

The Slovak government is expected to announce its formal support for the bid by the end of February.

Fico said he envisaged Slovakia hosting ice hockey and skiing events. The cost of hosting the Games, estimated at between $1.5 and $2 billion, would be shared between the International Olympic Committee (IOC) which is expected to provide about 40 per cent of the funds, and the two countries, with Poland providing the larger share.

Fico added, "we mustn't have big eyes. It would be a great success should we succeed with Poland - the candidacy alone will mean further PR for Slovakia and it will be a great opportunity for development of the infrastructure".

November 2013 is the deadline for applications to the IOC. The host city will be elected in July 2015.

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