FIFA may have delayed their decision on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar being switched to a winter tournament, but debate still rages on as to whether major sporting events should be hosted by Gulf states in the summer.
Doha is now mounting a strong bid for the 2024 Olympic Games, and this move has been backed by none other than London chief Lord Coe (Former Olympic Champion Seb Coe). A man who is already as Chairman of the British Olympic Association overseeing their preparations for Rio in 2016 and has chosen Belo Horizonte as the teams base. He has also been asked by new IOC Chairman Thomas Bach to keep an eye on Tokyo’s preparations in hosting the 2020 Games.
“We can’t sit any longer saying that countries prepared to invest in sport both spiritually and in terms of infrastructure are in some way banned or we make it impossible for them to deliver high quality sporting events. We should be encouraging it.” He was quoted as saying during a recent visit to Doha. “If you are going to build global capacity in sport you are going to confront challenges. Some will be climatic, political, or social. The great thing about sport is that it always manages to bridgehead change. If we said 20 years ago that Rio would host the Olympics or South Africa the World Cup few would have believed it. But that’s how sport works and that’s a good thing.”
Doha’s Olympic bid committee tried unsuccessfully to win the 2016 and 2020 hosting rights and Qatar’s Olympic Committee has stated that they ‘will keep on bidding until we win.”
Unlike the World Cup which has traditionally always taken place in the summer months the Olympic Games has more flexibility. In 1964 in Tokyo and 1968 in Mexico the games were held in October due to the climate. In 2000 in Sydney and Seoul in 1988 they were held in mid September, so Qatar may well achieve its goal and win the hosting rights for the 2024 Olympics, but then again the IOC may wait until after the 2022 World Cup to see how they coped before making a decision, but the chances are it will simply be a case of when will Qatar host the games.