By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year

Geneva_skiingJanuary 25 - Switzerland should bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, the President of the country's National Olympic Committee has urged but only if Pyeongchang are awarded the 2018 Games.

Swiss Olympic chiefs, including International Olympic Committee (IOC) members Rene Fasel and Gian Franco Kasper, have briefed officials from Geneva, Davos-St Moritz, Central Switzerland, Valais and Bern on details of a potential bid and told them that they have until March 31 to put their cases forward.

All the cities and regions have been told that they must have stable, transparent finances and sustainable infrastructure and that they must have their facilities close together.

Jörg Schild, the President of Swiss Olympic, was enthusiastic about the opportunities and chances of a successful bid from Switzerland, who have not hosted the Games since St Moritz in 1948.

"Switzerland is a country of winter sports and it has the potential required to complete the possible organisation of the Olympics," he told the meeting.

"Let us therefore take advantage.

"The regions should be eager to show us how they think they can positively meet extremely high requirements posed by the development of competition venues needed for infrastructure, or how they are eventually able to·assist in their implementation."

Switzerland's Sports Minister Ueli Maurer, also outlined the requirements of the Federal Government if they are going to back a bid.

"The Olympic Winter Games expected to take place in Switzerland must first be...organised in a region enjoying alpine venues together," he said.

Maurer said that "all necessary assurances are provided about the sustainability of the infrastructure in place and requiring significant investment," while insisting that the federal government requires "absolute transparency of financial sector·".

If a strong Government-backed bid can be put together then it could be presented to the Swiss sports federations on November 18, Schild said.

But he admitted that everything depended on Pyeongchang being chosen to host the 2018 Olympics and Paralympics ahead of European rivals Annecy and Munich when the IOC meets at its Session in Durban on July 6.

"It would be impossible that the 2022 edition is again entrusted to the 'Old Continent'," admitted Schild.

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