- Qatar previously unsuccessful in making shortlist for 2016 and 2020 Games due to heat concerns
- Infrastructure development for World Cup thought to meet IOC’s demands
- Country expected to ask for Games to be held in winter months
Qatar is keen to host the 2036 Olympic Games, on the back of staging the 2022 Fifa World Cup, according to Reuters.
Since being awarded the tournament in 2010, the country has received heavy criticism for its treatment of migrant workers who had helped build the necessary infrastructure for the tournament. It has also been condemned for its laws forbidding same-sex relationships, with former Fifa president Sepp Blatter admitting recently it was a mistake to take the flagship soccer competition to Qatar.
Yet the Qataris themselves have been buoyed by the successful staging of the World Cup, and now are turning their attentions towards the Olympics, which have never been staged in a Muslim country.
Reuters are reporting that the nation feels it is in a strong position to put itself in contention for the 2036 Olympics, having demonstrated its hosting capacity at the World Cup. The outlet cites that its new infrastructure will likely tick the necessary boxes for the IOC, given it has been developed and upgraded already for Fifa’s showpiece event.
It is also suggested that Qatar would want the Olympics to be held later in the year, away from its traditional summer timeslot. The Gulf state has invested heavily in developing air conditioning technologies for its stadiums to mitigate the heat for this year’s World Cup, which is being staged in an unfamiliar setting of November and December.
The Qatar Olympic Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.
Qatar had previously been unsuccessful in making the shortlist for the 2016 and 2020 Games, which went to Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo respectively, partially due to concerns over summer temperatures in the Arab nation. Before the Australian city of Brisbane was awarded the 2032 edition, it had also expressed an interest in hosting the Olympics for that year.
The Gulf state will play host to the 2023 Asian Cup, which is currently scheduled for next summer. It is also gearing up to host its first ever Formula One Grand Prix next year, with the 2030 Asian Games also on the horizon. As well as the World Cup, it recently staged the 2019 World Athletics Championships.
The IOC has previously said it was in early discussions with ten cities, with the likes of Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea and India all previously expressing interest in hosting the games. According to Reuters, Germany is also considering a potential bid, despite there being considerable domestic opposition for an approach.
The governing body will select a favoured candidate from those interested as part of a new process first used to choose Brisbane for the 2032 edition. No timeline has been confirmed by the IOC concerning when it will announce the host of the 2036 Olympics.