By Claire Valdini
Officials voted against Gulf state amid concerns over weather and conflicts with other sports events
Qatar has been dropped from the list of candidates to host the 2020 Olympic Games, 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 after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) settled on a shortlist of finalists following a technical evaluation report compiled by a panel of Olympic experts.
Doha, which had proposed to host the games during October 2 to 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.
“In July/August, people have more leisure/vacation time. There is therefore a risk that an October Games would become a 'weekend Olympics Games' and with a reduced demographic reach, broadcasters would have difficulties in attracting the same audience levels in terms of working people and youth,” IOC officials said.
Qatar, which is set to host the 2022 World Cup, said it was disappointed by the decision. “We are obviously very disappointed not to become a candidate City for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” said HE Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, general secretary of the Qatar Olympic Committee.
Sources familiar with the details of the selection told Associated Press that the board voted 3-9 in favour of Doha and 0-12 for Baku. Votes for Tokyo and Madrid stood at 12-0 and Istanbul 11-1.
Qatar, where summer temperatures top 45 degrees Celsius, was the surprise winner of a December 2010 FIFA vote to choose the 2022 World Cup host country. The tiny Gulf state is in the process of building 12 technologically advanced stadia that will have cooling systems installed to protect players and spectators from soaring temperatures.
The Sports City Stadium, inspired by the shape of a bedouin tent, could become the most expensive sports facility ever built, with estimates as to its cost coming in at around US$2bn.
Nice to hear......now back to basics. Get onto the footy 2022 and deliver. You can think of everything but only some will be achievable. The shortlisted countries may also think twice with the current economic situation but most of the infra is already present in those countries.
The IOC has had its scandals in the past, but unlike FIFA, they've cleaned house. Getting the Olympics is that much harder these days.
Very happy to hear the Olympics will go to a deserving host.
I would like to see the Olympics in a permanent location for the Winter games North Korea and the summer Greece .