The Qatar edition of the FIFA World Cup has marked a number of firsts, with the most recent seeing the knockout stage seeing teams from six continents.
Qatar is committed to hosting the 2036 Summer Olympic Games in Doha, a source acquainted with the Olympic bidding process has said, according to reports.
The current FIFA World Cup’s success has given the Gulf country more confidence and increased its determination to host the Olympics.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has not specified a deadline for when it intends to award the 2036 sports event, however.
The Games would be the first to be held in a Muslim nation if they were to take place in Doha.
Due in part to concerns about the summer temperatures, Qatar was not selected for the shortlist for either the 2016 or 2020 Games. Those Games were held in Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo, respectively.
The Gulf nation has used cutting-edge air-conditioning equipment in stadiums to lessen the heat for the football season, and it is likely that it will try to shift any Olympics later in the year, as it did with the World Cup.
The 2019 World Athletics Championships were held in Doha from late September to early October at the Khalifa International Stadium.
Since then, the IOC has changed the method for choosing the Games, moving away from a traditional bidding procedure and instead choosing a favoured contender from among interested cities. The first games to be decided upon in this way were Brisbane 2032.
India, Indonesia, and South Korea are just a few of the nations that have indicated interest in hosting the 2036 Olympic Games as well. Despite adamant internal opposition to the Olympics, Germany is debating whether to submit a new bid.
Qatar will feel quite strong, according to a source who spoke to Reuters.
“The success so far of this World Cup puts Qatar in a strong position – they have shown they can do this […] it is a proof of concept,” the person said.
“They hosted the Asian Games in 2006; and will be hosting them again in 2030.
“All of the infrastructure is here – the stadiums, the metro, the new airport.”
Seven of the eight World Cup stadiums were entirely constructed by Qatar, but it will be difficult for it to find regular use for all of them. Given the significant infrastructure development of the nation, the Olympics would be considered as a logical fit.
Qatar has long been a regional sports hub, hosting major events even before winning the bid to host the World Cup back in 2010.
“In 2006, we hosted our first major event, the ‘2006 Asian Games’. Since then we’ve hosted over 600 international and regional events, so if we look at sports I mean obviously the World Cup is the biggest but hosting the Handball World Championship, hosting the IWF Athletics World Championship, hosting Formula 1 now for the next 10 years,” Qatar 2022 CEO Nasser Al Khater told Doha News in June.
“Qatar has been a regional powerhouse in sports and will continue to be so,” he told Doha News in an exclusive interview, suggesting that the Gulf state will continue to host sports events even after the 2022 FIFA World Cup.