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.
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:
Thank you for all of your support! We could have never gotten this far without you! See you in #2024! #Doha2020
— Doha 2020 الدوحة (@doha2020qa) May 23, 2012
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.”
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.
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.