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Olympic Council of Asia awards Asian Games hosting to Doha in 2030 and Riyadh in 2034
The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has awarded the hosting rights for the 2030 Asian Games to the Qatari capital of Doha and the 2034 to the Saudi Arabian city of Riyadh.
Announced overnight at the OCA General Assembly in Muscat, Oman, the double hosting decision is a compromise with fierce political rivals Qatar and Saudi Arabia both having been bidding to host the multi-sport event.
OCA President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah arranged the "win win" situation which saw the city with the most votes awarded the 2030 Games and the runner-up given the 2034 edition.
Qatar's capital won the vote, gaining 27 votes compared to Riyadh's 10 with eight abstentions.
The double award plan was greeted with a round of applause when Sheikh Ahmad explained it and was voted through by the Assembly unanimously.
Prior to the vote, the Kuwaiti said he hoped to find a "solution" for both parties as the OCA always shows "solidarity and unity".
Sheikh Ahmad later told the Assembly "I believe you are making history, and I will be proud to have two Asian Games in West Asia.”
Qatar and Saudi Arabia were bidding against a backdrop of international criticism over their records on human rights, as well as a bitter diplomatic dispute which has seen Saudi Arabia initiate a blockade of its neighbour after accusing Qatar of sponsoring terrorism and backing its regional rival Iran.
Doha hosted the 15th Asian Games in December 2006 while Saudi Arabia has never staged an OCA multi-sport event.
Ahead of the 2030 and 2034 events, the 19th Asian Games will take place in Hangzhou, China in 2022 and the 20th Asian Games will be in Aichi-Nagoya, Japan in 2026. The most recent edition of the Games was held in Indonesia, in 2018.
Qatar and Saudi Arabia are also vying with India, Iran and Uzbekistan for football’s 2027 Asian Cup, with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) expected to make a decision on the host next year.
Image: Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah raises hands from Doha and Riyadh after the double award. Credit: OCA.
17th November 2020 - Olympic Council of Asia looks to third Asian Youth Games in 2021
25th March 2020 - Olympic Council of Asia welcomes Tokyo Olympic Games postponement
17th October 2017 - Olympic Council of Asia confident on Indonesia’s 2018 Asian Games preparations
28th March 2017 - Olympic Council of Malaysia fears SEA Games sponsorship shortfall
23rd April 2020 - Qatar and Saudi Arabia enter rival bids to host 2030 Asian Games
18th March 2020 - Preparations recommence for Hangzhou’s 2022 Asian Games hosting
12th November 2019 - SPIA Asia 2019 event links with 30th Southeast Asian Games in Manila
4th October 2019 - Qatar Olympic Committee advances bid to host 2030 Asian Games
25th November 2020 - Qatar to stage FIFA Arab Cup as World Cup 2022 test event
31st August 2020 - Qatar’s Al Bayt Stadium achieves outstanding sustainability rating
18th June 2019 - Qatar World Cup 2022 shows mega-events can transform countries
2nd October 2019 - IAAF embarrassment at tiny attendances at Doha World Championships
5th November 2020 - Saudi Arabia to host first F1 Grand Prix in 2021
10th October 2018 - The P.A. People looks back on ceremonies role at 18th Asian Games
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