After World Cup, Qatar seeks Olympic gold

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After the FIFA World Cup 2022 earned Qatar each plaudits and censure, the energy-rich Gulf state is now beginning a marathon to safe the 2036 Olympics and a spot as a pillar of world sport.

Even as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo scored objectives and shed tears in Qatar’s multi-billion-dollar stadiums, its sports activities directors had been reserving new victories off the pitch.

During the match, Qatar was awarded the 2025 world desk tennis championships and the opening race of the world endurance championship in 2024, including to its packed sports activities calendar.

Formula One returns in 2023, and a significant renovation of Qatar’s race observe went forward throughout the World Cup shutdown.

Qatar additionally stepped in when China withdrew from holding the 2023 Asian Cup soccer and is to stage the world swimming championships in 2024.

Its beIn Sports channel with its rising viewership and rights portfolio solely provides to Qatar’s sports activities muscle.

Hosting occasions is “a very powerful game-changing tool”, stated Michael Payne, a former head of selling for the International Olympic Committee.

Qatar is ploughing forward with its sporting ambitions regardless of criticism of its rights report – significantly the therapy of international staff who constructed the stadiums and energy the financial system of one of many world’s richest nations.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino repeatedly stated Qatar was internet hosting the “best ever” World Cup, and different federations have additionally welcomed Qatar’s largesse.

An official with the International Table Tennis Federation stated “Qatar stepped in to help organise events when Covid devastated the calendar, and its facilities are all in place”.

Qatar gained an amazing majority within the ITTF vote towards Spain for the 2025 championships.

The 2036 Olympics – which won’t be awarded earlier than 2025 – is the following massive prize. The emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, is an IOC member and Qatar has already bid for the 2016, 2020 and 2032 Games.

Some analysts say its World Cup report will rely towards Qatar within the Olympic bid.

Changing the date of the opening match three months from the beginning of the World Cup and banning beer round stadiums two days from the beginning had been “errors”, stated Jean-Loup Chappelet, an Olympic motion specialist on the University of Lausanne.

“The International Olympic Committee wanted none of it (for 2032) and I think that after the World Cup it will be exactly the same,” added Chappelet.

Veteran advertising specialist Payne additionally stated Qatar and FIFA had scored “own goals”, however added that these had been shortly forgotten.

The IOC has a declared coverage of rotating the Games, and the Olympics have by no means been held within the Middle East.

But the scorching summer time temperatures of as much as 50 levels Celsius (122 Fahrenheit) imply the IOC must change the Games to the winter months.

Qatar may face competitors from Saudi Arabia and Turkey, which has beforehand bid 5 occasions.

The Saudis had been a part of a Gulf blockade of Qatar from 2017 to 2021.

Ties have since been restored, and Qatar has highlighted the Arab fervour proven on the World Cup to say its success.

The Saudis pulled off a shock win over Argentina, and Morocco reached the semi-finals.

“It remains to see how long the Arab unity and revitalisation of the FIFA World Cup 2022 will last after the final whistle,” stated Danyel Reiche, an affiliate professor at Georgetown University in Qatar who’s main a World Cup mission.

Reiche stated sport ought to turn into “a tool for peace-building”.

Qatar and Saudi Arabia ought to launch a joint Olympic bid, copying the co-hosting of the following World Cup within the United States, Mexico and Canada and different massive occasions, Reiche stated.

“Co-hosting sporting events with other Middle East countries would add to Qatar’s image of being a good global citizen that has, for example, mediated in major conflicts,” stated Reiche