Qatar moved a step closer to hosting another major sporting tournament as it aims to win the right to stage the 2019 World Athletics Championships, the third-largest sports event in the world.
An official delegation representing the Qatar Athletics Federation (QAF) and Qatar Olympic Committee travelled to Monaco this week to attend a seminar at the headquarters of the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) in which the requirements for hosting the athletics event in five years were laid out.
Doha is competing with rival candidate cities Barcelona (Spain) and Eugene (United States of America) to win the right to host the event.
At the two-day event, officials from the three cities were told they would be required to accommodate 13,000 officials, volunteers, accredited broadcasters and media and stage 47 athletics events, which will be broadcast around the world.
Dahlan Jumaan Al Hamad, President of the QAF, who is also Vice President of the IAAF, was quoted as saying: “Over many years of working together as trusted partners the QAF and IAAF have developed a strong collaboration through the successful staging of major international athletics events in Qatar including the annual Doha IAAF Diamond League, the 2010 World Indoor Athletics Championships and the 2006 Asian Games. Together many strides have been taken to advance athletics in Asia and across the Middle East but the ambition to host the IAAF World Championship in 2019 in Doha is a natural next step.”
IAAF General Secretary Essar Gabriel added: “The IAAF is proud and excited to have three excellent cities – Doha, Barcelona and Eugene – teaming up with our federations coming from three continents joining us on this journey to select the host for the 2019 World Championships, the most important athletics competition in the IAAF calendar.
The final bids will be submitted to the IAAF on September 25, the IAAF Evaluation Commission will visit each candidate city in October and a final decision will be made by the IAAF Council at its meeting in Monaco on November 20.
The move comes as the Gulf state this week again moved to stem criticism of the decision to award it hosting duties of the 2022 World Cup.
Qatar’s World Cup 2022 Supreme Committee communications director Nasser Al Khater commented on continuing allegations of corruption during the bidding process for the World Cup in 2022 during an interview in Brazil with Al Jazeera television.
“First of all it is actually an investigation into the bidding process of 2018, 2022 World Cup, Qatar is part of that, Russia 2018 is part of that, the whole process is part of that, everybody involved is part of this investigation. So it is unfortunate that people single out Qatar every time they discuss it, which is absolutely not the case,” Al Khater said.
“We’ve been true to what we have said in the past, our statements that we always put up – [that we] have held ourselves to the highest ethical standards. We believe in it, we are confident of it and we are confident of how we’ve behaved.”