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Fri 11 Nov 2011 08:43 PM

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London pips Doha to host 2017 World Championships

Qatar's $236m funding package for athletics showcase event fails to win IAAF vote in Monaco

London pips Doha to host 2017 World Championships
The London 2012 Olympics running track is seen following its unveiling in the Olympic Stadium in east London, on October 3, 2011. (AFP/Getty Images)
London pips Doha to host 2017 World Championships
London pips Doha to host 2017 World Championships
General view of Khalifa Stadium at Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence in Doha which will be revamped for the 2017 championships. (Getty Images)
London pips Doha to host 2017 World Championships
London pips Doha to host 2017 World Championships
Action from the womens 1500m at the IAAF Diamond League in Doha on May 6, 2011. (AFP/Getty Images)

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on Friday awarded London the 2017 World Championships, beating Doha in a head-to-head contest.

The Gulf state of Qatar was unable to repeat its recent success on the global sporting stage after last year being chosen by FIFA to host the 2022 World Cup last year. Qatar has also submitted a formal bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games.

The official Doha 2017 Twitter page posted a message shortly after the decision was announced. It read: "IAAF has decided. Congratulations to London. Thanks for all your support."

“Despite an excellent challenge from Doha, the London team put together a
cracking bid which has paid off with this fantastic news today,” London
mayor Boris Johnson said after IAAF president Lamine Diack opened an
envelope revealing the winning city’s name.

The IAAF decision by 16 votes to 10 followed final presentations by the two bid teams in Monaco during which the Qatar team offered a $236m funding package to the IAAF, including underwriting an $80m budget for the event itself, as well as spending $120m on construction of an Athletics City and revamping the main stadium.

On top they will provide a sponsor for all major IAAF events leading up to 2017, plus Al Jazeera TV rights, worth $29m. They will also underwrite the $7.2m prize fund.

The Doha presentation also insisted that every seat will be sold to every session of every event and temperatures in the stadium will be tailored to each individual event.

But the London presentation, which included appearances by former world champions Seb Coe and Denise Lewis and the London mayor, also pledged to sell every ticket available for the event and offered to cover the $7.2m prize fund.

The presentation also included a video message of support from the UK's Prime Minister David Cameron.

Earlier in the day, Britain's 400m hurdler Dai Greene, who struck gold at the 2011 world championships in South Korea, tweeted: "Let's be honest, nobody wants the 2017 world champs to be on the desert in Doha. Bring it to London."

The last time a British team campaigned for a major event it ended in a humiliating defeat for England’s 2018 World Cup bid and it has twice previously failed to win hosting rights for the track and field world championships.

In October, officials from the IAAF said they were impressed by Qatar's plans to build an air-cooled stadium to host the 2017 event.

Bob Hersh, chairman of the Evaluation Commission, said: “Doha is a city that has shown fantastic growth and development, and I've been impressed by how that growth has continued since my most recent visit here last year.

“There is no doubt that the Doha team are extremely motivated and dedicated to making a very strong bid, where innovation and new ideas take centre stage,” Hersh added in a statement posted on the IAAF website.

Abdulla Al Zaini, president of the Qatar Association of Athletics Federation (QAAF) and executive director of Doha 2017 Bid Committee, said he wanted to set "new standards" for hosting the world Championships.

The IAAF officials visited main venues that are being proposed for the 2017 event including the 40,000 seat Khalifa Stadium that was used for the Asian Games, and a number of training and warm up facilities located in what is called the Aspire Zone.

The proposed main competition site, Khalifa Stadium, is set to be refurbished by 2016, just prior to the Championships.

The delegation also visited the site of Athletics City, which is part of a new development of luxury apartments.

Ed Warner, chairman of UK Athletics and the 2017 bid, warned earlier this week that the IAAF risked alienating other bidders if they again choose to head to new markets.

The most recent championships was in Deagu, South Korea, and the next two are in Moscow and Beijing.

For all the latest sports news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
SA 7 years ago

Normally bidding is won on the budget the host country is willing to commit. Clearly London was way too shot than Doha's proposal--- so what made them win?

Has IAAF considered factors like current debt crisis? London is soon hosting Olympics, will it be able to bankroll another Major event very soon after?

Paul King 7 years ago

At last some common sense! London will have all the superb Olympic stadia & infrastructure in place and will create a superb atmosphere for the 2017 World Championships. What a shame that FIFA doesn't have this type of integrity and a sense of fairness for fans and competitors alike.

Lionheart 7 years ago

Money doesn't buy you everything in life

charles 7 years ago

"what made them win?"
the quality of the total bid, as opposed to just splashing money around.

Billy 7 years ago

SA, get real. Even in this crisis London is one of the wealthiest cities in the world. Investors also see it as a safe place due to the carefully controlled regulations so money would never be an issue for a world stage event like this. Common sense has prevailed and the Athletes will be asked to perform in a realistic environment in a city with a well tried and tested infrastructure. Qatar needs to concentrate on the world cup football event, show the world they can deliver on what they have promised before they can be considered for another mega event.

SA 7 years ago

That is your notion...or maybe behind the scene politics and favoritism.

Splashing money is what needed to host mega events. As for the contractors and builders they will every well be British and western companies which will provide the same quality of stadia and housing.

When world events organizer intends to host in developing countries/east they are keen to get enough promises on budget/money from the host country....but when they want to have it in West then money is secondary.

SA 7 years ago

Yes Qatar needs to focus on football events and London should focus on 2012 Olympics.

Just read the news about this where London cannot offer adequate security for the event.

charles 7 years ago

depends if you want an event that can be enjoyed by all, or to be held instead at a time of the year when athletes are winding down for the season and not at their best.
These and other things all countries impacted, decided on. Not just money.

Lionheart 7 years ago

Of course they can offer secruity for the event . Hosting a major sporting event in London has been done many times before without any problems . World class facilities , infastructure , transport links , accomadation and so on , it's easy that's why the city is a global leader.

Paul King 7 years ago

London's sporting heritage, it's ability to handle major sporting events and security measures are met every single week of the year with many Premier League football matches being staged in the capital. Then add Wimbledon, Champions League Finals, FA Cup Finals, major concert venues...the list goes on. London could stage a football World Cup or a World Athletic Championship in 3 months time without skipping a beat! The decision is correct and wise in these perilous economic times.