The President of the Olympic Council of Asia told Reuters Wednesday that Doha and Dubai are capable of hosting the Middle East’s first Olympic Games and the region would simply have to trust itself to deliver a great event in the face of doubt and criticism.
Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, who is also head of the Association of National Olympic Committees, said a successful bid would be well received in a region where sport is helping bring about change.
He added it would also bring a firestorm of protest from other parts of the world in the same way FIFA’s decision to award Qatar the rights to host the 2022 World Cup.
Doha bid for the 2016 and 2020 Olympics but never made the shortlist, while Dubai was reportedly on the verge of a 2016 bid which was eventually awarded to Rio de Janeiro.
Sheikh Ahmad told Reuters, “I think even if we host a birthday party there would be such a reaction. That is the tradition of the media. For that we have to respect their thoughts but we have to trust ourselves that we can deliver a great event”.
He said, “we are capable in many cities in the Middle East to host an Olympics – Dubai is ready, Doha is ready”.
I know that not every city can host the Olympics. Only the main ones, and even they are always faced with difficulties. We can see this with Rio; even until now there are problems”.