DOHA - Qatar is undecided whether to bid to host the 2024 Olympics, a leading official said, suggesting they may hold off for a later edition after two failed attempts to land sport's greatest spectacle.
“We don't know if we are going to bid for '24, but bidding for the Olympics it will be ... either '24, '28 or '32,” Qatar Olympic Committee general secretary Sheik Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al Thani was quoted as saying by Doha News on Wednesday. “But for '24, we have not made the decision yet. The decision will hopefully be before September.”
That hesitation was in contrast to a Twitter message posted by the team behind Doha's bid for the 2020 Games who said: “See you in 2024” after failing to make the International Olympic Committee shortlist in May 2012.
Oil-and gas-rich Qatar also failed in a bid to land the 2016 Olympics, which went to Rio de Janeiro. Japan will host in 2020.
Qatar's bids had involved moving the multisport event from the traditional European summer months of July and August to sometime between October and March to avoid the searing heat of the Middle East summer.
Timing issues have caused long headaches for soccer's world governing body FIFA after they awarded the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, who will also host the 2019 world athletics championships.
Landing the Olympics would be the final piece in the jigsaw for the tiny nation that has transformed itself into a global home of sport.
Rome, Italy, and Boston, in the United States, are the only two confirmed bidders so far for the 2024 Olympics.