Doha 2020 Comments on IOC Candidate City Shortlist Decision
Quebec, 24 May 2012: The decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) not to shortlist Doha for the Olympics and Paralympic Games 2020 does not curtail the country’s ambitions or its work in progress towards becoming a regional and global sports hub, Doha 2020 officials said today.
“We are still committed to our sports legacy projects and to empowering women through sports,” said Doha 2020 CEO Noora Al Mannai. “We are preparing to launch a national campaign to encourage youth to participate in sports, to improve their lifestyle and because we believe that sports has the power to break down barriers, regardless of the decisions made that are beyond our power.”
Al Mannai said the Bid Committee had been disappointed, but knew that for Doha the Olympics were always ‘a question of when, not if.’
“With so many sports venues already in place and budgeted for, we felt that we offered the IOC great certainty and a low cost Games plan as well as an exciting legacy vision, especially around developing women’s sport in the Middle East,” she said. “The good news is that our National Vision and master plan guarantees an urban fabric that places sport at its heart; therefore Doha will be ready to host the Games whenever the IOC leadership grants the wider IOC membership the opportunity to decide the fate of bidding nations at this stage of the process. Nevertheless much of the legacy plans for 2020 will go on; we will digest the findings of the IOC report and look forward to the 2024 race.”
H.E. Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, General Secretary of the Qatar Olympic Committee, said: “We are obviously very disappointed not to become a Candidate City for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The support we received from the 26 International Federations on the dates we proposed provided conditions for athletes comparable to those of previous Olympic and Paralympic Games, which we believed fulfilled the pre-conditions of the Executive Board. So we are surprised by this decision. Whilst we felt that the hosting plans and legacy vision we submitted to the International Olympic Committee as part of the Applicant City process were strong and innovative, we of course respect the decision of the IOC Executive Board.
“We will study the IOC report, reflect on its findings and take stock as part of our own reflections regarding our ambition to bring the Games to the Middle East for the first time. We wish the Candidate Cities well for the remainder of the campaign.”