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Posted On: 14 July 2011 09:37 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:11 pm

OCA chief hints at Qatar bid for 2020 Olympics

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In a true Olympic spirit of never giving up, sports-hub of the Arab world, Doha is expected to bid for the Summer Games again, a top Asian official said yesterday. Doha, which lost the 2016 Olympic Games bid three years ago, has a little over a month’s time to submit its bid file for the 2020 Games. The deadline for submitting the bids is September 1. The IOC will decide in Buenos Aires on September 7, 2013, which city is to host the 2020 Summer Games. Asia’s Olympic chief told media persons in Tokyo yesterday that Qatar has expressed an interest in hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics which falls just two years before the FIFA World Cup is held here. “I hear Doha have interest,” Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) president Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah told Japan’s Kyodo news agency yesterday. “This is what I’m hearing, but we don’t have anything officially announced yet.” Sheikh Ahmad said this on a day when Madrid officially announced it will fight to host the Summer Olympics in 2020, believing it had a “great probability” of winning after losing out for the 2012 and 2016 Games. “Madrid is submitting a bid because it thinks it has not just a chance but a great probability of securing the Olympic Games,” Madrid Mayor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon told a news meet in Madrid. Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon told a news conference in Madrid. Before the announcement in the Spanish capital, only Rome had announced a bid while Tokyo and Istanbul are expected to do so shortly. The South African city of Durban is also said to be a possible runner. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) rejected Doha’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics - which were won eventually by Rio de Janeiro. While Doha bid organisers accused the IOC of “closing the door on the Arab World”, the IOC cited technical reasons for its rejection of the bid, including Doha’s insistence on holding the games in October. However, the Qatari capital, which hosted the 2006 Asian Games, is a sports fan’s dream city where top-class events are held throughout the year. Sheikh Ahmad, a Kuwaiti member of the IOC, was in Tokyo for the OCA meetings. He is expected to be re-elected to a sixth term at the OCA general assembly today. Tokyo, which hosted the 1964 Summer Olympics but lost to Rio de Janeiro in the race for the 2016 edition, is expected to formally announce its bid for the 2020 Games this week. The next Olympic Games will be held in London in 2012. Qatar last December beat four football bidding rivals on way to winning the rights to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which will be the first to be held in the Arab world.