Two years before the Qatar Soccer World Cup, the wealthy Persian Gulf emirate on Monday expressed interest in becoming the first Middle Eastern nation to host the events in a letter to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Today’s announcement is the starting point for a constructive dialogue with the IOC Future Host Commission to explore our interest and establish how the Olympic Games fit together with Qatar’s long-term development goals, said Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, President of the Qatari Olympic Committee.
Sport has been an important vehicle for our country’s development for many years, he added. Our rich experience and our desire to promote peace and cultural exchange through sport will be at the heart of our discussions with the commission.
Qatar has confirmed its interest in the Games despite allegations of corruption that still hang over the process that led to its victory for the organization of the World Cup in December 2010.
Last April, U.S. prosecutors released new information about alleged bribes paid to influential FIFA members to get their votes.
A FIFA investigation had previously concluded that Qatar’s conduct may not have lived up to the federation’s standards, without evidence of fraudulent activity by the bid committee. Qatar has denied all charges.
FIFA also had to postpone its main men’s tournament to November and December 2022 due to the overwhelming heat that prevailed over the desert nation in June and July.
The Summer Olympics are usually held in July and August. Qatar hosted the last world athletics championships in September and October 2020 in an air-conditioned outdoor stadium.
The next Summer Games will be held in Tokyo in 2021, then in Paris in 2024, and in Los Angeles in 2028.