By Andy Sambidge
Bid team's CEO says Olympic Games in Gulf state 'a question of when, not if'
The decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) not to shortlist Doha for the 2020 Games will not curtail the country's ambitions to become a regional and global sports hub, officials have said.
"We will study the IOC report, reflect on its findings and take stock as part of our own reflections regarding our ambition to bring the Games to the Middle East for the first time," said Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, general secretary of the Qatar Olympic Committee.
Doha 2020 CEO Noora Al Mannai added in comments published by Qatar News Agency: "We are still committed to our sports legacy projects and to empowering women through sports.
"We are preparing to launch a national campaign to encourage youth to participate in sports, to improve their lifestyle and because we believe that sports has the power to break down barriers, regardless of the decisions made that are beyond our power."
Al Mannai said the Bid Committee had been disappointed, but added that for Doha the Olympics were always "a question of when, not if".
"With so many sports venues already in place and budgeted for, we felt that we offered the IOC great certainty and a low cost Games plan as well as an exciting legacy vision, especially around developing women's sport in the Middle East," she said.
"The good news is that our National Vision and master plan guarantees an urban fabric that places sport at its heart; therefore Doha will be ready to host the Games whenever."
She said that much of the legacy plans for 2020 will go on, adding that she looked forward to the 2024 race.
Qatar was dropped from the list of candidates to host the 2020 Olympic Games on Wednesday night, cutting it to a three-way race between Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo.
The gas-rich Gulf state, along with Azerbaijani capital Baku, also failed to make the cut for the 2016 Games.
Doha, which had proposed to host the games during October 2-18 to combat the soaring summer temperatures, was considered significantly more expensive “than any recent host city”.
IOC officials also cited concerned about the weather and conflicts with other sports events going on during that time of the time.
Right decision taken by IOC ...
This decision has been a strike back on the wave of 2022 soccer world cup scandal which was totally fabricated. No ones wants the Middle East to become a landmark on the world's map. If it's too hot then you simply move the event to match with pleasant weather conditions. This decision in my opinion is discriminatory and stupid.
Are'nt you really jealous Michelle?