A view of the stadium during the closing ceremony of the 18th Asian Games 2018, in Jakarta, Indonesia. Image Credit: PTI

Dubai: Saudi Arabia and Qatar have placed bids to host the 2030 Asian Games, according to the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).

Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia and Qatari capital Doha submitted their official bids to host the 21st Asian Games before the April 22 deadline set by the OCA. The bid document from the National Olympic Committee of each country was accompanied by letters of support from the city and respective governments.

It may be recalled that Doha had hosted the 15th Asian Games in December 2006, but this is the first time-ever by Saudi Arabia attempting an OCA multi-sporting event.

Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah, President, OCA was pleased to see two strong bids from Gulf nations. “The OCA is delighted to receive two strong bids for our Asian Games in 2030.

“It shows the trust and confidence in the Olympic movement in Asia and further enhances our reputation of hosting world-class sporting events on a major scale,” he added.

After the 18th edition was held in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2018, the 19th edition is scheduled to take place in Hangzhou, China in 2022 while the 20th Asiad will be in Aichi-Nagoya, Japan in 2026.

The OCA had sent a circular to all 45 National Olympic Committees on January 23, 2020 inviting bids for the 21st Asian Games in 2030 with a set deadline of April 22.

“With these two bids for the 2030 Asian Games we now have stability and continuity in our sports movement for the next decade,” Sheikh Ahmad noted.

“This will allow our National Olympic Committees, our administrators and above all, our athletes to make solid plans for the future in the short term, medium term and long term. It puts us in an envious position in terms of our sports calendar and highlights again that Asia is a major partner in the global Olympic movement,” he added.

The election of the host city for the 21st Asian Games in 2030 will be held at the OCA General Assembly on November 29, 2020, on the sidelines of the 6th Asian Beach Games to be held in Sanya, China.