The battle for the right to host the 2020 Summer Olympics entered its' final stages today with the Istanbul bid saying in Buenos Aires that of the three candidates they would need to spend the least on 'dedicated Olympic projects'.
Their claim will surprise many as one of their rivals Madrid's strongest selling points was that the economic crisis in Spain would not affect their bid because their budget was a modest one €37 billion ($3.12 billion) as most of the venues and the infrastructure are already in place.
The Istanbul bid, which is also up against the third candidate Tokyo, may have hoped to take a bit of the wind out of the sails of Madrid, but the Spaniards had their own moment of triumph today when they secured the support of Argentina's four-time world footballer of the year Lionel Messi.
The 26-year-old Argentinian's support for Madrid may have come as something of a rude shock not only to supporters of his club Barcelona — bitter rivals of Real Madrid — but also to Istanbul as he promotes Turkish Airlines, one of the main sponsors of the Olympic bid.
Istanbul, though, will hope the revelation that their budget would be the lowest in terms of expenditure will strike a chord with IOC members.
Murray backs squash bid for inclusion
NEW YORK: Reigning Olympic, Wimbledon and US Open champion Andy Murray, who played squash as a youth before becoming a tennis star, is backing squash's bid to join the family of Olympic sports in 2020.
The 26-year-old Scotsman said Tuesday after advancing to the quarter-finals of the US Open that he will be cheering on squash to get approval in an International Olympic Committee vote on adding a sport on Sunday in Buenos Aires.
Olympic officials will consider squash, a combined baseball/softball bid and wrestling after earlier dropping wrestling from a certain spot in the offerings for the 2020 Summer Games, whose site will be chosen at the same meetings.
Murray said he supports growth in racquet sports in the Olympics lineup.