Zuma: Bring on the Olympics next

BLOEMFONTEIN, June 22 (Reuters) - A successful hosting of the World Cup by South Africa should be the spur for a bid for a first African Olympics, the country's president Jacob Zuma told Reuters on Tuesday.

He said he would support any future bid by one of South Africa's cities to host the Games.

"We have got the facilities. Those who take decisions (about the hosting of major sports event) have seen how South Africa is. I'm sure we could do it," he said after Tuesday's World Cup 2-1 win for his country over France.

"I will put it on the agenda because it is important to bring people from all over the world here. Sport is very important for us."

Zuma said the hosting of the 64-match, one-month World Cup had given the country's image a major boost. It is the first time the tournament has been held in Africa since it was first contested in 1930.

"It is now known Africa is capable of hosting any serious tournament. That fact cannot be argued again. I think Africa will now have a much better image and people will relate better to the continent. Plus the economic spin-offs are huge," he added.

Cape Town was the first African city to bid for the Olympics but was trounced in the vote for the 2004 Games which were awarded to Athens.

Durban, which markets itself as Africa's sports capital, has expressed an interest in hosting a future Games and built their new World Cup stadium with enough space to add an athletics track.

Last week, International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge offered encouragement to Africa for an Olympic bid.

"I'd love to have a credible African candidate for the next Games to be chosen, namely those of 2020," he said in a German radio interview.