There is a general perception that the interest to host an event like the Olympics is waning among countries due to the escalating costs involved. The feeling gained currency due to the financial consequence of Greece post hosting the event in 2004 and the Tokyo Games where the entire budget went for a toss. One more reason could be the pandemic-induced restrictions, no spectators or foreign visitors, in the near future as it cuts the scope of revenue generation for a competition of this magnitude. So, these are primarily some of the reasons given for several countries showing reluctance to stage the world’s biggest sporting carnival.
IOC Claims Olympics have several suitors
However, allaying such reservations over the conduct of the Olympics, International Olympics Committee President Thomas Bach said that the showpiece event faces no such problems as is perceived in general. While talking to the Wall Street Journal before the Tokyo Olympics, Bach said that the IOC was well placed in the long term as far as finding hosts for the marquee event is concerned. He further added that India, Indonesia, Germany and Qatar have shown interest in staging the Games in 2036 and beyond. And these (countries) are simply the ones that came to his mind then, implying there are more waiting in the wings.
This Time India Means Business
As per Bach, some Asian countries are keen to hold one of the most prestigious sports events. However, some of them have never held the event. Germany is the only exception in the list of interested countries of Bach to have organised the event in the past, but that was many moons ago in 1936 and ’72. India, for example, has harboured the dream to host the Olympics but has not made much progress on this front. However, the Delhi government has made it very apparent that it intends to host the Games in 2048 as part of its centenary celebration of India’s independence. Surely, India does not want such an opportunity to go begging this time.
Qatar, Indonesia etc are waiting in the wings
Similarly, Qatar, which is hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2022, wants to emerge as another major sporting destination by hosting mega sporting spectacles. This clearly illustrates its interest and keenness to organise the big sporting tournament. The same holds true for Indonesia as well, which conducted the 2018 Asian Games when Vietnam pulled out at the last moment leaving the organisers in the lurch. So, for these Asian countries, the Olympics is nothing but an opportunity to show the world that they have the resources and potential to accomplish big things and they are not inferior to anyone.
The Major Hiccups In Holding The Event
However, the threat of Coronavirus is still very much prevalent across the world and staging an event of this enormity will not be economically feasible in such a tense scenario. For instance, the budget of the Tokyo Olympics went overboard due to the delay in holding the event and the Corona-based curbs curtailed the possibilities of money-making to a large extent. Even if we assume that the Coronavirus will vanish from our lives in some time, there are other heavy-duty costs involving bidding and lobbying for the Olympics. These expenses can be too big for some Asian countries like India or Indonesia. But the countries are not in the mood to take backward steps this time as it is an opportunity to show the world that they have arrived at the big stage finally and any deviations from their ambitions can be a huge setback for the countries.
Considering the huge financial burden involved in holding an event like the Olympics, Asian countries should look to co-host the events. They only need to take a leaf out of the book of Euro 2020, which was conducted throughout the European continent. Likewise, Asian countries could think of scheduling the Olympics among neighbouring countries and share the monetary burden and revenues as well.