Qatar eyeing 2020 Olympics after winning FIFA World Cup bid

A year after Qatar became the first Arab nation to win the right to host the FIFA World Cup, the Gulf state is now trying to win a bid to host the 2020 Olympics.

Doha, that has successfully hosted major sporting events such as the Asian Games in 2006 and tennis tournaments featuring top-ranked players, is vying for the 2020 Olympics with Baku, Istanbul, Tokyo, Madrid and Rome, The Independent reports.

Candidate cities are required to submit their plans to the International Olympic Committee by February. The IOC board would then meet in May to decide who stays in the race, and would announce a winner in September 2013.

According to the report, the May meeting is key for Qatar, which was eliminated from the campaign for the 2016 Olympics after the IOC board rejected its request to stage the Games outside the preferred July-August time slot.

Soaring temperatures, which can hit 50C in June and July, ruled out Qatar's first Olympic bid four years ago. But it won the right to host the 2022 World Cup after producing innovative designs and air-conditioning systems to cool stadiums.

Qatari sports officials said that the country is now fully focused on the Olympics.

"We are thinking ahead and planning for the future, bidding for Olympic Games and maybe other events," the paper quoted Sheik Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, the secretary-general of Qatar's Olympic Committee, as saying.

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