The Olympic Council of Asia announced Wednesday that Doha will host the 2030 Asian Games, while Riyadh was named host of the 2034 edition under a compromise agreed between the rivals.
The proposal to appoint the runner-up in the two-horse race for the 2030 Games as hosts for 2034 was unanimously approved by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) executive board meeting.
According to OCA President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, “I can now announce… that the city who had the highest vote and will host 2030 in Doha,”
“The second hosting city, for 2034, is Riyadh.”
Voting was postponed to allow some national Olympic committees to participate remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic, hours after technical problems with the online system.
Sheikh Ahmad said, “I apologize for the technical problem we are facing during our voting,”
“Today the difficult things have been solved and the easy things have been problems.”
“I will be glad to have two games in west Asia, to be honest,” Sheikh Ahmad added.
After an alliance of countries led by Riyadh cut diplomatic, economic, and transport ties with Doha in 2017, accusing it of backing radical Islamists and Iran, Saudi and Qatar are locked in a bitter dispute.
Qatar rejects the charges and in recent weeks, progress has been made to reconcile the dispute with all parties praising Kuwaiti-led mediation.
The OCA’s president said before the vote that he was seeking a “win-win” situation for Doha and Riyadh.
While Saudi Arabia has never organized an OCA multi-sport event, Doha hosted the Asian Games in 2006.
“Our goal is simple. We want to see more Asian athletes in the future, on future Olympic podiums,” said Joaan bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, head of the Qatar Olympic Committee, ahead of the vote. “We want that to be part of your national sports history, not just ours. And we want to support you in the efforts to get there.”
Qatar is also participating in the Summer Olympics bidding process for 2032.
A video showed Qatar’s leisure and travel infrastructure raft being prepared ahead of the 2022 World Cup football games to be repurposed for the 2030 games. There will be a $1.3 billion budget for the games.
The Doha bid team reported 90 percent of the technology was already in place for the 2030 games.
Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal Al-Saud, the President of the Saudi Olympic Committee, said when we say the games are a national priority, we mean it”
It has unwavering political and public support, “It has unwavering political and public support,” and unwavering public support.
“Sport has changed social life in the kingdom — especially for women.”
As evidence of the kingdom’s preparation for the Asian Games, Prince Abdulaziz referred to Saudi’s hosting of big boxing confrontations and preparing for next year’s Formula 1.