BSP-14 Riyadh, Doha enter rival bids to host 2030 Asian Games

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BSP-14

SAUDI-QATAR-DIPLOMACY

Riyadh, Doha enter rival bids to host 2030 Asian Games

RIYADH, April 23, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – Gulf rivals Saudi Arabia and
Qatar are competing for rights to host the 2030 Asian Games, the
Olympic Council for Asia said Thursday after receiving bids from both
countries.

“Doha, capital of Qatar, and Riyadh, capital of Saudi Arabia,
submitted official bids to host the 21st Asian Games,” the OCA said in
a statement.

“The bid document from the National Olympic Committee of each
country was accompanied by letters of support from the city and
respective governments.”

Saudi Arabia, along with the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and
Bahrain cut all ties with Doha in 2017, accusing it of backing
“terrorists” and being too close to Iran — charges Qatar denies.

Talks to mend the rift have stalled, after a flurry of diplomacy
late last year raised hopes of a breakthrough.

Doha hosted the Asian Games in 2006 but Saudi Arabia has never
organised an OCA multi-sport event, the statement added.

The OCA had invited bids for the 2030 Games from its 45 members by
Wednesday.

“The OCA is delighted to receive two strong bids for our Asian
Games in 2030,” OCA president Ahmad al-Sabah, said in the statement.

“It… further enhances our reputation of hosting world-class
sporting events on a major scale.”

The host city will be selected at the OCA General Assembly meeting
in China on November 29.

BSS/AFP/MRU/2236hrs