DOHA, Qatar (UPI) — Athletic officials in Qatar said Monday they have requested discussions with the International Olympic Committee to host the 2032 Summer Games.
Qatar’s organizing committee filed a “continuous dialogue” request to the IOC to explore the possibility of hosting the world’s largest international sporting event 12 years from now and follow Paris and Los Angeles as host of the Summer Olympics.
The continuous dialog request begins the process of exploratory talks with the IOC by nations interested in staging the Games.
Qatar would be the first Middle Eastern nation to host an Olympic event.
“Today’s announcement marks the beginning of a meaningful dialogue with the IOC’s Future Host Commission to explore our interest further and identify how the Olympic Games can support Qatar’s long-term development goals,” Qatar Olympic Committee President Joaan bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani said in a statement Monday.
Qatar is set to host the FIFA 2022 World Cup and would use some of the venues already in place for the Summer Games. Accusations over how the country secured the World Cup, however, have stained its reputation as a global athletic host.
U.S. prosecutors unsealed indictments in the spring that said FIFA officials were “offered or received bribes” to vote for Qatar, and a FIFA investigation found the process “may not have met” acceptable standards.
Qatar briefly explored Olympic bids for the 2016 and 2020 Summer Games. Paris is scheduled to host in 2024 and Los Angeles in 2028.
Reporting by Clyde Hughes