Qatar and five other nations have officially submitted bids for the 2020 Olympics, the International Olympics Committee has announced.
The countries, which had until Sept. 1 to submit their bids, have now entered the first part of a two-phase process. All will submit to a technical review and answer a questionnaire about their ability to host the games. The IOC will then narrow the pool of candidates down in May 2012.
In phase two, the remaining cities will submit in-depth descriptions of their Olympic project and face a technical assessment made by a visiting team. The final decision will be announced on Sept. 7, 2013.
In its press statement, the IOC specifically singles out Qatar to say:
While accepting the proposal in principle, the EB specifically asked the Qatar NOC for full assurances on the following points:
1. In order to protect the health of the athletes, the IOC will publish a list of events which must be organised at the most appropriate time determined by the IOC (early morning/late afternoon).
2. This scheduling should not be detrimental to the organisation, the broadcast coverage or the spectator experience.
3. Measures should be taken to protect the health of the public and all technical and support staff.
These assurances, along with the other elements of the Qatari application, will be evaluated by the EB in May 2012, as part of the applicant phase of the 2020 bidding process.
Let the hosting competition begin!