By Tom Degun in Barcelona

Chantal_Jouanno_with_Katarina_Witt_Barcelona_March_10_2011March 11 - Chantal Jouanno (pictured left), the French Minster of Sport, has revealed the importance of setting up a new international French Sports Unit to help the country create mutually beneficial friendships abroad and to learn lessons of past failures.

She was referring to the doomed Paris bid for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

The French capital was a strong favourite to host the Games next year before London 2012, spearheaded by the inspirational Sebastian Coe, managed to beat rivals to the prize through dramatic eleventh hour lobbying to International Olympic Committee (IOC) members.

The defeat was a bitter pill for Paris to swallow and Jouanno is disappointed lessons have not been learnt for the failure, as well as Annecy's current bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, which is currently trailing behind favourites Pyeongchang and Munich. 

"What I realised when I arrived is that we had made no progress in learning from our previous failures," she told insidethegames.

"So that is why we will create a kind of agency or international office to have a debriefing after the Annecy 2018 bid, to create an international network of French leaders and French friendships and also to have an international strategy looking at which countries we want to work with and which kind of sports we want to promote.

"Today, we don't have this and these kinds of questions are unanswered.

"It was a lesson that was not learnt from the previous bid for the Olympic Games in Paris in 2012 although it should have been."

Jouanno added the success of the international French Sports Unit will also need Government Ministers promoting the integrity of sport to be successful.

"We must, as the Ministers, be more strong concerning the value of sport in our country," she said.

"The problem is that often Ministers want to be in the pictures but they don't want to talk, or strongly talk, about the value of sport.

"If we don't promote and don't support the value of sport, we are not Ministers at all."

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