POSTED: May 23rd 2012
2020 Games: IOC goes with Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo
LAURA WALDEN in QUEBEC / Sports Features Communications
May 23 - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has decided to make a cut with the 2020 bid cities and has eliminated Baku and Doha from the summer Games race.
There were five cities in the bid race for the 2020 summer Games. Rome, Italy initially started the race but fell out due to the lack of government support.
IOC communications director, Mark Adams, and Games executive director, Gilbert Felli, made the announcement at the SportAccord convention hall to a full house of press and delegates. Much speculation had gone around as to whether the IOC would aggressively cut the handful or slice down the group by one city.
Both Doha and Baku were shortlisted from the 2016 bidding race during the last round that saw Rio de Janeiro walk away with the vote.
Doha released a statement:
H.E. Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, General Secretary of the Qatar Olympic Committee, said:
“We are obviously very disappointed not to become a Candidate City for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The support we received from the International Federations on the dates we proposed provided conditions for athletes comparable to those of previous Olympic and Paralympic Games, which we believed fulfilled the pre-conditions of the Executive Board. So we are surprised by this decision. Whilst we felt that the hosting plans and legacy vision we submitted to the International Olympic Committee as part of the Applicant City process were strong and innovative, we of course respect the decision of the IOC Executive Board.
“We will study the IOC report, reflect on its findings and take stock as part of our own reflections regarding our ambition to bring the Games to the Middle East for the first time. We wish the Candidate Cities well for the remainder of the campaign.”
Noora Al Mannai, CEO of Doha 2020, added:
“This is a great disappointment for the Doha team. With so many sports venues already in place and budgeted for, we felt that we offered the IOC great certainty and a low cost Games plan as well as an exciting legacy vision, especially around developing women’s sport in the Middle East. However for Doha, it will always be a question of when not if.
“The good news is that our National Vision and master plan guarantees an urban fabric that places sport at its heart; therefore Doha will be ready to host the Games at some point. We hope to have an opportunity in the future to present our case to the wider IOC membership who can then decide on our proposals. Nevertheless much of the legacy plans for 2020 will go on; we will digest the findings of the IOC report and look forward to the 2024 race.”
The final decision will be voted by the IOC at the session in Buenos Aires on September 7, 2013. The next stop will be the London Olympic Games in a few weeks time where the three cities will be observing.
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