Qatar keen to stage 2032 Olympic Games


Qatar bids in 2032 Olympics Image: QOC

Qatar has evinced keen interest in bidding to host the 2032 Olympic Games, in what would be the first time a Middle Eastern nation organizes the world’s biggest sporting showpiece.

The Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) announced on Monday that it formally submitted its request to join the non-committal “continuous dialogue” to host stage an edition of the Olympic and Paralympic Games as early as 12 years from now.

The gas-rich Persian Gulf nation delivered the request via a letter to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

“Never before has an Olympic Games been held in the Middle East. The Olympic rings are a symbol of peace, unity and hope for people around the world, including the people of our region,” a QOC statement quoted President Joaan bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani as saying.

“Today’s announcement marks the beginning of a meaningful dialogue with the IOC’s Future Host Commission to explore our interest further and identify how the Olympic Games can support Qatar’s long-term development goals,” Al Thani added.

Over the past decade, Qatar has undergone sea change as part of its National Vision 2030. The country has built futuristic sporting venues and sleek transportation networks as it prepares to host the FIFA 2022 World Cup™.

An interest in bidding for the Olympics comes as Qatar continues to face corruption allegations over how it won the rights to host the World Cup in a FIFA vote in December 2010.

In April, American prosecutors revealed new details of alleged bribes paid to FIFA executive committee members to gain their votes.

An earlier FIFA inquiry found some of Qatar’s conduct “may not have met the standards” required by FIFA but concluded there was no “evidence of any improper activity by the bid team”. Qatar has vehemently denied the bribery allegations.

As part of the IOC’s Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms, the IOC set up a permanent Future Host Commission as part of its new perspective to stage future Olympic Games.

The Commission’s comprehensive goal is to make certain that future Games will be in tune with the long-term development plans of host cities and regions, leaving lasting legacies.

“For many years, sport has been a major contributor to our nation’s development. From athletics to cycling, gymnastics to football, tennis to volleyball, Qatar has earned the reputation of a world-class destination for major sporting events,” Al Thani observed.

“It is this proven track-record and wealth of experience, along with our desire to use sport to promote peace and cultural exchange that will form the basis of our discussions with the Commission,” he continued.

Simon Chadwick, Director of the Centre for the Eurasian Sport Industry, said that Qatar’s interest to play host to the 2032 Olympic Games has not come as a surprise to him and that the Gulf nation was “already ideally placed to bid for the hosting rights”.

“Qatar has been an important event destination for sports and this is very much bound up in country strategy. Having failed in 2020 to attract the Olympics, I think it was inevitable that sooner or later we’d get another bid coming along,” Chadwick told mediapersons.

“You have to keep in mind Qatar will have the infrastructure in place and will be looking for a legacy from the hosting of the FIFA World Cup™ in 2022,” he noted.

India, Australia’s Queensland State, the Chinese city of Shanghai and a potential joint bid between South and North Korea are also being touted for the 2032 games, as per media reports.

The next Summer Olympics are the rescheduled Tokyo Games in 2021, followed by Paris in 2024 and Los Angeles in 2028.

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