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Friday, July 23, 2021

Qatar expresses hesitation about bidding for 2024 Olympics

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

After two failed Olympic bids, Qatar appears to be backtracking on plans to try to host the 2024 summer games.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, the secretary general of the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) said the nation’s officials were still making up their minds about whether to bid as a host city of the world’s largest sporting tournament.

The deadline to express interest is September. According to the Peninsula, Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said:

“We don’t know if we are going to bid for ‘24 (2024), but bidding for the Olympics it will be, I mean, either ’24, ’28 or ’32. But for the ’24 we have not made the decision yet. The decision will hopefully be before September.”

The remarks are a bit more subdued than what officials have said in previous years.

Past bids

In May 2012, after Qatar was cut by the International Olympic Committee as a candidate for host city of the 2020 Olympics, the bid committee tweeted:

And the CEO of the bid at the time said:

“Much of the legacy plans for ’20 will go on; we’ll digest the findings of the IOC report and look forward to the 2024 race.”

Months later in 2012, the Qatar Sports Venue Master Plan (QSVMP) was unveiled with the 2024 Olympics “in mind.”

Looking for shade during Qatar's summer.
Looking for shade during Qatar\’s summer.

But like with the FIFA World Cup that Qatar will host in 2022, the searing summer heat remains an issue.

For the 2020 attempt, Doha’s bid had involved changing the tournament calendar so that the games would be held in the country’s cooler winter months.

Olympic officials had initially said moving the tournament would not be a deal breaker, but it was widely believed to be a big reason Qatar failed to make the shortlist.

The Gulf state also did not advance in the decision making process for the 2016 Summer Olympics, which will be hosted by Rio de Janeiro. The 2020 games will be hosted by Tokyo.

So far, strong interest in hosting the 2024 tournament has been expressed by Rome and Boston. The final decision will be made in 2017.

Qatar host record

Advancing on its ambition to become a sports hub, Qatar was recently awarded hosting rights to the World Championships in Athletics in 2019.

The event is considered one of the largest international sporting tournaments, and features various track and field disciplines including sprints, a marathon, high jump and javelin throwing, among others.

Men's Handball Championships opener
Men’s Handball Championships opener

Qatar has also hosted the 2006 Asian Games and FINA swimming championships, as well as several international tennis tournaments. And it is currently in the middle of hosting what many have called a successful 24th Men’s Handball World Championship.

Thoughts?

26 COMMENTS

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Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago

Wise decision, Olympics are never worth it.

Daniel Schriefer
Daniel Schriefer
6 years ago
Reply to  Anonymouse

I agree. The Olympic Idea is long dead and gone.

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago

A sensible decision. this kind of events is a huge waste of money and has a very low ROI even for Western capitals.

Daniel Schriefer
Daniel Schriefer
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Your comment shows how it really is: it’s not about sports! It’s all about money. What a sad world you’re living in.

agenius
agenius
6 years ago

sad? try pragmatic. checked the price of oil lately? watch for a list of belt tightening moves over the next few months

Althani
Althani
6 years ago

it’s not that sad, it’s pretty realistic.

Sunshine
Sunshine
6 years ago

I wonder if adding non-discrimination based on sexual orientation to the Olympic Charter has had any influence on the toning down of their enthusiasm,

I hope so!

MrJames
MrJames
6 years ago

I think it’s a smart decision. Qatar needs to forget about fighting nature and hosting outdoor events in the summer, ultimately you just can’t win.

Instead, focus on indoor sports, like the recent Handball. Maybe swimming? Indoor cycling? For outdoor events, Motorsports is perfect for Qatar. A Formula 1 Grand Prix street circuit around the city is easily achievable and would be visually amazing. Lewis Hamilton screaming down the Corniche? Yes please 🙂
Work to your strengths, Qatar, not your weakness’s

Misty Blue
Misty Blue
6 years ago
Reply to  MrJames

Well said. The only thing to add, why build an F1 race track when you already have The Pearl?

sicti
sicti
6 years ago
Reply to  Misty Blue

Sarcastic (comment) or not, this is not a bad idea

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago
Reply to  sicti

Neither is female beach-volleyball. Much cheaper as well cos all you need is a net.

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago
Reply to  MrJames

No problem with an F1 circuit. All you have to do is agree Bernie’s cut and it’s a done deal.

MrJames
MrJames
6 years ago
Reply to  The Reporter

Qatar and Bernie Ecclestone – a match made in heaven! There’s only one item on the agenda at that meeting and it’s ‘MONEY’ 🙂

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Go for 2028 if you must but it’s a huge waste of money. The Olympic ideal died many years ago in a fog of politics, bribes and doping. (Not to mention changes of nationality to the highest bidder)

wee_johnnie
wee_johnnie
6 years ago

How about bidding for the Winter Olympics instead, as didn’t think there are any countries keen or foolish enough to bid for them? Must be a way to build a few mountains with all that material from the tunnels being constructed under Doha, and if they can chill an open air stadium for WC2020 then a few snow making machines won’t be a problem.

Althani
Althani
6 years ago
Reply to  wee_johnnie

too much effort

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago

I’d like to see it in london again or maybe Singapore… I don’t think rome or Boston can pull it…

Paul
Paul
6 years ago

Why not just construct covered soccer/athletics stadia..?

DB
DB
6 years ago

A wise move. After all the WC2022 controversy, they wouldn’t have a snowball’s chance in Doha of getting it anyway, and it would just invite more criticism.

InconnufeeDoha
InconnufeeDoha
6 years ago

Maybe Qatar can propose the first All night Olympics. Otherwise I cannot imagine running a marathon in the summer heat here!

R.D.H
R.D.H
6 years ago
Reply to  InconnufeeDoha

That’s not a bad idea!

Nuremburg
Nuremburg
6 years ago

I don’t think this would be a wise bid the Olympic Committee, especially when considering that the oil resources of Qatar will be depleted in 20 to 30 years. Money better spent elsewhere, in my opinion.

sicti
sicti
6 years ago
Reply to  Nuremburg

Gas will be depleted in 300 years so…

Edward
Edward
6 years ago

Certainly a telling element in Qatar’s (smart) new strategy to scale back on the white-elephant projects.

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago

Report today suggests that Barcelona are thinking of ending their relationship with Qatar due to their unhappiness with social and human rights issues in the state. In the light of the rumours, appalling publicity, and backlash generated by the award of WC2022 I think we’d all be astonished if Qatar were to submit a bid for the Olympics’

Sabre
Sabre
6 years ago

I’m OK with the olympics, but with modified program to suit the location and culture. Camel races, swimming, falcon hunting, a circuit in the dunes, desert triathlon . .. the price goes to the team that just manages to stay alive.

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