Tokyo might have only been named 2020 Olympic Games hosts on Saturday but, almost immediately, the debate began about what the result means for the 2024 race to stage the world’s biggest sporting event.
An Asian candidate or at least east Asian appears to be out of the question as Tokyo’s win means the region will host two successive Games – the South Korean resort of Pyeongchang hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics.
However, the failure of Madrid and Istanbul to secure the 2020 Games opens up plenty of opportunities for prospective bidders from Europe – Paris and Rome have been mentioned – and the Middle East/Gulf region with Doha again trying.
There is also set to be an American candidacy, having gone away, licked their wounds and recovered from Chicago’s humiliating last place for the 2016 Games.
The US capital Washington is one being thought of as a candidate.
Madrid’s third successive rejection – which left the bid team stunned as they saw votes they thought they had melt away – probably precludes another run.
Madrid’s probable absence leaves the way open for Paris and Rome, though both will face huge hurdles to convince IOC members they are worthy of hosting them.
Paris and French sporting administrators still bear the deep scars of their defeat to London for the 2012 Games, and the humiliation of Annecy’s candidature for the 2018 Winter Games compounded that when they received just seven votes.
IOC members still have deep reservations about a French bid.
“The faultlines are still there. Namely there is an arrogance and the feeling when you talk to them that they have not really taken on board the reasons that saw them lose to London,” one European IOC member told AFP under condition of anonymity.
Rome might suddenly have a golden opportunity opening up.
Their decision to withdraw on the eve of the deadline for candidacies for the 2020 race because of Italy’s dire economic state might have been a wise one in retrospect, but many wonder if it is capable of hosting a Games in the 21st century.
Transport, given Rome’s daily traffic congestion, and its creaking infrastructure, plus a lack of stadia, could result in a very high cost bid.
Some from Istanbul have suggested going straight back into the fray, believing the Syrian civil war will be a thing of the past plus the very good impression the bid made gives them a groundbase of votes and a launching pad.
However, Doha is determined to add hosting the Olympic Games to soccer’s World Cup and no expense will be spared to become the first predominantly Muslim country to host the Games.