x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Six are in bidding for 2020 Summer Olympics

Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman, the Qatar Olympic Committee general secretary, described the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decision to accept the Doha bid for the 2020 Games as wonderful news.

Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman, the Qatar Olympic Committee general secretary, described the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decision to accept the Doha bid for the 2020 Games as "wonderful news for the people of Qatar and the entire Middle East".

Doha, the Qatar capital, is one of six cities competing to host the event in nine years' time.

Rome, Madrid, Tokyo, Istanbul and Baku, Azerbaijan, also submitted bids to the IOC by Friday's deadline.

There were no surprises, as all six cities had previously announced their candidacies.

"To have the opportunity to host the first ever Games in the Middle East will have a profound impact not just on sports development throughout the region, but also in encouraging a greater bridge between the Middle East and the wider international community," Sheikh Saoud said in a statement.

Doha is proposing to hold the Games in September and October, outside the traditional July-August dates, to avoid the blistering summer temperatures in the Gulf country.

All six contenders have made previous bids. Two - Rome and Tokyo - have hosted the Olympics before, Rome in 1960 and Tokyo in 1964.

Madrid is bidding for a third consecutive time, while Tokyo, Doha and Baku are making their second successive attempts.

It is Istanbul's fifth overall bid.

The IOC will select the host city by secret ballot on September 7, 2013, in Buenos Aires.

The six candidates must first submit detailed application files and letters of guarantee to the IOC by February 15, 2012. The IOC executive board will meet in May to decide whether to cut any of the cities and approve a list of finalists.

The final bid dossiers will be submitted in January 2013, followed by visits to the cities by an IOC evaluation commission from February to April.