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Riyadh, Doha enter rival bids to host 2030 Asian Games

  • News Desk

    Agence France-Presse

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia   /   Fri, April 24, 2020   /   11:38 am
Riyadh, Doha enter rival bids to host 2030 Asian Games Fireworks explode over the Gelora Bung Karno main stadium during the closing ceremony of the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta on Sept. 2, 2018. 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. (AFP/Bay Ismoyo)

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 organized 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.