Middle East 'ready to host Olympics'

Chief of the Association of National Olympic Committees labels Doha and Dubai as potential cities to hold mega event.

    Doha's bid for the 2016 and 2020 Games never made the shortlist [GALLO/GETTY]
    Doha's bid for the 2016 and 2020 Games never made the shortlist [GALLO/GETTY]

    Doha and Dubai are capable of hosting the Middle East's first Olympic Games, the president of the Olympic Council of Asia said.

    Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, who also heads the powerful Association of National Olympic Committees, said that a successful bid would be well received in a region where sport is helping bring about change.

    However, he recognised it would also bring a firestorm of protest from other parts of the world in the same way FIFA's decision to award Qatar hosting rights for the 2022 World Cup provoked an outpouring of controversy and criticism.

    Qatari capital Doha bid for the 2016 and 2020 Olympics but never made the shortlist, while Dubai was reportedly on the verge of a bid for 2016, eventually awarded to Rio de Janeiro, but it failed to materialise.

    "We are capable in many cities in the Middle East to host an Olympics - Dubai is ready, Doha is ready," said Sheikh Ahmad.

    "I know that not every city can host the Olympics. Only the main ones, and even they are always faced with difficulties. We can see this with Rio, even until now there are problems."

    SOURCE: Reuters


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