Olympics-Surprised Austria NOC will back possible Vienna bid

VIENNA Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:00am EST

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VIENNA Dec 12 (Reuters) - Austria's Olympic Committee (OeOC) will back any bid by Vienna to host the 2024 or 2028 Olympic games, its president Karl Stoss said on Wednesday.

Vienna mayor Michael Haeupl was quoted in the Austrian media on Tuesday as saying he planned to hold a referendum in March on the candidacy. They said an official announcement about the referendum would me made on Friday.

"This is news to us, but basically we support any sort of Olympic initiative, as long as it has a realistic chance of success and has the financial means for the candidacy and the necessary infrastructure requirements," Stoss said in a statement on the committee's website (www.oeoc.at).

"London 2012 was an impressive example of what effect the Summer Games can have," said OeOC secretary general Peter Mennel.

"The necessary infrastructure work has a long term effect on the development of grass roots and especially top-level sports because of the improved training options."

Austria hosted the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics, both in Innsbruck, and co-hosted the Euro 2008 soccer championship with Switzerland but has never staged a summer games. (Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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