UPDATE: Doha and Baku did not make the cut. Read more here.
Five cities, including Doha, are waiting with bated breath today to hear what the International Olympic Committee is calling “the most difficult decision we have ever had to take with regard to a shortlist.”
Tokyo, Istanbul and Madrid are expected to escape the firing line, reports state.
If it’s three finalists, Doha would likely be dropped…
Qatar is already hosting the 2022 World Cup, but faces questions over the heat, the timing and other issues for the Olympics.
The IOC agreed to let Doha bid based on Qatar’s proposal to hold the games from Oct. 2-18 to avoid the brutal summer heat, but officials remains concerned about the weather, conditions for athletes and potential conflicts with television and other sports events going on during that time of year.
Timing and heat were cited as the main reason Qatar failed to make the finalist list when it bid for the 2016 Olympics.
For 2020, Qatar has pulled out all the stops, sending its heir apparent to make the pitch to the IOC last month and saying its bid is “on behalf of the entire Middle East and North Africa region.”
The cities selected today will enter the final phase, with the suspense finally ending next year when the IOC votes for the host by secret ballot in Buenos Aires in September 2013.
Keep your fingers crossed!
Credit: Image courtesy of Doha 2020’s Facebook page