The emir of Qatar has started “discussions and the process” to possibly host the initial ceremonial leg of the 2016 Tour de France cycling competition, Reuters reports.
The international cycling event’s Grand Départ is regularly held in European countries near to France, but has never been hosted by a Middle East or Arab nation.
Reuters’ source indicated that the sweltering summer heat Qatar endures in the month of July – when the event normally kicks off – was not being viewed as an obstacle, as there were ways of tackling the issue.
Some reacted sarcastically to the notion that Qatar could play host to yet another high-profile sporting event, on the heels of the 2006 Asian Games and 2011 Asian Football Cup, and ahead of the planned 2022 World Football Cup.
The blog Deadspin answered the news with the headline “Qatar Will Soon Host Every Sporting Event”.
Said the article author Barry Petchesky:
There seems to be little to stop Qatar from gobbling up all the international sporting events, at least until the Dukhan Field runs dry. But where does it stop? Will we soon have to travel to Doha to watch the European Championships?
But is there really anything wrong with the country putting its hat in the ring to host high-profile events? Or should that money and resources be focused elsewhere?
Credit: Photo by Céline Aussourd and released under Creative Commons