OCA Claims Doha’s Existing Asian Games Legacy Boosts 2030 Bid

Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) bid evaluation Chief Andrey Kryukov pointed to existing legacy from the 2006 Asian Games in Doha as an important strength in the city’s quest to host the event for a second time in 2030.

OCA Evaluation Committee Chair Andrey Kryukov (center) tours Al Bayt FIFA World Cup Stadium, a proposed venue in the Doha 2030 Asian Games bid (Doha 2030/Twitter Photo)

OCA Evaluation Committee Chair Andrey Kryukov (center) tours Al Bayt FIFA World Cup Stadium, a proposed venue in the Doha 2030 Asian Games bid (Doha 2030/Twitter Photo)

The evaluation team concluded three days of meetings and venue tours in the Qatar capital Friday and gave the bid a favourable review during a closing press conference.

“The committee is satisfied with what we saw and believe that Doha’s existing infrastructure and sustainable concept will allow them to host a successful Games in 2030,” Kazakhstan’s OCA member Kryukov told reporters.

When asked by GamesBids.com, he explained that experience gained from hosting the Asian Games in 2006 and preparing to stage the FIFA World Cup in 2022 gives Qatar an advantage in the race against neighboring bid rival Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.

“What we see in the FIFA headquarters [for the Doha 2022 World Cup] is that the organization is the same at the highest level … and I think is also based on the 2006 experience,”  he said.

“This is a major foundation for [the bid].

“The consistency which is demonstrated by the Qatar government in developing sport has provided this accumulation of knowledge which is accumulated by the next generation and transferred properly.  That’s what we see here.”

Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) Secretary General HE Jassim Bin Rashid Al Buenain weighed in, telling GamesBids.com  “we succeeded in transferring the legacy from Asian Games 2006 into many sectors here in Doha.”

“I believe that we are aiming to serve the entire continent in the future by hosting the 2030 Asian Games,” he added, promising further legacy from the potential event.

“Doha is a Gateway to legacy now, and not in 10 years.  We have many projects with legacy.  We are looking forward in order to put all of our efforts into delivering an amazing Games.

“If we are awarded the honor of hosting the Games, the legacy program starts in 2021.

“We have the people, we have the expertise, we have the experience and most importantly we have the passion.”

The Doha 2030 team has promised a “gateway to certainty of excellence” amid a global pandemic that has delayed the Olympic Games and caused the widespread cancellation of major sport events around the world.

The Secretary General told the OCA “this year has been defined by uncertainty, which is why the sports movement needs certainty now more than ever.”

“Doha 2030 can do more than just offer certainty, we can say with absolute confidence that we will deliver the excellence that OCA and Asia’s NOCs deserve, in a sustainable and responsible manner.

“We can say this because all of our proposed permanent venues already exist, and the majority of these world-class facilities have already successfully hosted many international or continental events.”

Doha 2030 Receives OCA Asian Games Bid Evaluation Committee For Site Visit

Kryukov said he wasn’t concerned about a COVID-19 impact on future Games, explaining that the pandemic will be resolved in the short-term.

He said “based on my colleagues’ discussions today we saw serious planning in the budget and your budget is mostly an operational budget.  That’s why we don’t expect COVID will impact the bid of Doha.”

“Sport today during the COVID time is a booster for civilization for all of us,” he added, further pointing out that the Games could help bolster an economic recovery.

Riyadh has never hosted the Asian Games but earlier this week after conducting a similar three-day tour Kryukov said the Saudi Arabian project had “good potential”.  In contrast to Doha’s proposal, Riyadh officials promised that some of the infrastructure would be new, state-of-the-art venues that are already planned for construction over the next ten years.

Adding to the intensity of the race, the two nations continue to have strained diplomatic relations following the launch of a blockade among Saudi Arabia and regional allies against Qatar.

Both bids claim their projects have been elevated to national priorities and are tightly interwoven with long-term development plans.

The winner will be elected at an OCA meeting to be held December 16 in Muscat, Oman.

Robert Livingstone

About Robert Livingstone

Robert Livingstone is a senior editor, award-winning journalist and author, covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. He is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians. Follow him @enotsgnivil