Wei To Chair Asian Games Evaluation Committee As Riyadh And Doha Battle To Host In 2030

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has selected China’s Wei Jizhong to Chair the nine-member Evaluation Committee tasked to vet bids to host the 2030 Asian Games.

Opening Ceremony at Jakarta-Palembang 2018 Asian Games (OCA Photo)

Opening Ceremony at Jakarta-Palembang 2018 Asian Games (OCA Photo)

The 84-year-old OCA Executive Board member and Honorary Life President was named head of the committee by OCA President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah Wednesday in Kuwait.  Wei was also President of the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) from 2008 until he stepped down in 2012.

Wei will help moderate what promises to be a fierce head-to-head bid battle between Capitals Riyadh of Saudi Arabia and Doha in Qatar amid soured diplomatic relations between the two bordering nations.  The cities were the only two that submitted interest before an April 2020 deadline.

“I am extremely satisfied with the composition of the OCA Evaluation Committee for this very important task,” Sheikh Ahmad said in a statement released by the OCA.

“We have many sports leaders throughout Asia with a lot of experience from the Asian Games and Olympic Games and I am sure the members of this OCA Evaluation Committee will cover every aspect of planning, preparation, management and operations of the Asian Games.”

Doha And Riyadh To Face Off In Bids To Host 2030 Asian Games

With 11,300 athletes from 45 National Olympic Committees competing in 465 events of 40 sports at the most recent Jakarta and Palembang 2018 edition, the OCA claims that the Asian Games are the biggest multi-sport event in the world.

Bid books for the two rivals are due by October 4.  Plans had been made for the winning city to be declared on November 29 at the Asian Beach Games in Sanya, China but on Tuesday the OCA postponed that event until April 2-10, 2021 as a result of the global Coronavirus pandemic.

Doha last hosted the Asian Games in 2006 and is set to stage the FIFA World Cup in 2022.  The tiny oil-rich nation has also set its sights on hosting the Olympic Games as early as 2032.

Saudi Arabia has never hosted the event, but along with Doha, is a contender to host the 2027 Asian Cup Football Tournament.

The next Asian Games will be held in Hangzhou, China from September 10-25, 2022 followed by  Aichi-Nagoya, Japan from September 19 to October 4, 2026.

Committee Members (Source: OCA)

1. Mr. Wei Jizhong – Chairman

2. Mr. Ryu Seung Min – Chair OCA Entourage Committee

3. Ms. Mikaela Cojuangco – Member Athletes Committee

4. Mr. Jean Hammam – President NOC of Lebanon

5. Prof. Mohd. Yunus Popalzay – SG NOC of Afghanistan

6. Mr. Azat Muradov – SG NOC of Turkmenistan

7. Mr. Battushig Batbold – First Vice President NOC Mongolia

8. Mr. Husain Al Musallam – Director General OCA

9. Two representatives from the OCA Headquarters – Kuwait

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