Doha Accuses IOC Of “Closing The Door”

The Guardian reports that Doha accused the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Wednesday, following its decision to eliminate Doha’s bid from the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, of “closing the door on the Arab world”.

In the IOC’s overall evaluation Doha reportedly tied Chicago for third place and ranked ahead of Rio de Janeiro.

Doha 2016 head Hassan Ali Bin Ali said, “it is a great pity that they (the IOC) have closed the door on a bid from the Middle East. If the Games are only going to be held in Europe, Asia and America then I do not know why the IOC want us in the Olympic movement”.

According to the Guardian Doha outperformed Rio in the majority of the categories assessed by the IOC and when asked if he though the decision has been taken on political or technical grounds, Ali Bin Ali said, “this was not a technical decision”.

The IOC said Wednesday night that Doha’s desire to stage the Games in October rather than the traditional mid-summer time frame because of high temperatures was the reason the city was ejected. Spokeswoman Giselle Davies said, “the IOC…decided not to grant this exception as it conflicts with the international sporting calendar and would be bad for athletes and sports fans. Does this mean Doha or another country from the Middle East could never host the Games? No.”

IOC executive director Gilbert Felli told a news conference Thursday that it was Doha’s suggestion to host the Games between October 15 and 30 to reduce the problem of high temperatures in the desert state and it doomed its bid. He said, “of course Doha was advised that the date of the Games would be July 15-August 31. They asked for an exception and it was not accepted by the executive board”. As for future chances for other Middle East applicants, Felli said, “…. Middle East countries are not exactly all in the same place”.