14 Nov 2008

Racism rare in Spain, Madrid 2016 bid officials say

12:39 pm on 14 November 2008

Spain's bid to host the 2016 Olympics may be under threat from a perception of racism among the country's sports fans.

Officials pushing the city's bid have stressed that Madrid is a tolerant place that welcomes foreigners and incidents of racism are rare.

The Spanish capital is vying for the right to host the summer Games with Rio de Janeiro, Chicago and Tokyo, and the International Olympic Committee will choose the winner in October next year.

Isolated incidents of racism at Spanish sporting events have tarnished the nation's image in recent years, leading to fears Madrid's chances of winning could be hampered.