The Qatari capital of Doha was named host of the 2019 Athletics World Championships on Tuesday, just days after the Gulf state’s football officials were cleared of corruption by FIFA in their successful bid for the 2022 World Cup.
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) announced Doha had beaten off Barcelona and Eugene, Oregon, for the event after missing out to London for the 2017 edition.
Doha has proposed holding the event in the unfavourable period from September 29-October 6 in a bid to avoid the searingly hot summer month of August, when the championships are usually held.
The 2015 world championships take place in Beijing from August 22-30, while the London 2017 event is also scheduled for August.
The issue of temperature has also been a factor in the 2022 World Cup, with a push to hold it in the winter months, much to the disgruntlement of the European leagues.
For track and field, most athletics events are wrapped up in early September, with the final Diamond League meet usually held in Brussels on the first weekend of the month, and just a sprinkling of meets following that as athletes head into the off-season.
Since successfully staging the 2006 Asian Games, Doha has fought hard to become a world-renowned sports event city.
It held the 2010 World Indoor Athletics Championships, and for several seasons the opening meet of the Diamond League, in May.
It will also host the World Swimming Championships in December and in January the men’s World Handball Championships.
Qatar has come under the media microscope since winning the right to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
But the gas-rich state was cleared by FIFA of corruption on Thursday, world football’s governing body ruling out a re-vote for the tournament despite widespread allegations of wrongdoing.
However, the accusations seem sure to linger as within hours of FIFA’s ethics committee publishing a summary of US-based lawyer Michael Garcia’s report, Garcia himself said he would appeal against the findings as they contained “numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations of the facts and conclusions” detailed in his investigation.
FIFA has defended its refusal to publish Garcia’s report on the grounds it would undermine a promise to all those those who gave evidence on condition of anonymity.