Ahmad eyes Olympics in Middle East
The man regarded as the 'kingmaker' in the IOC, Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah, has raised the prospect of an Olympics in the Middle East.
Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah from Kuwait has raised the prospect of a possible change of date to the summer Games to allow it to take place in the Middle East.
The issue in the past when Qatar's capital Doha has bid for the Olympics has always been timing - it would be far too hot in July/August and the International Olympic Committee has resisted moving the date.
Sheikh Ahmad, who spoke in favourable terms of an American bid for 2024, pointed out however that the Sydney Olympics in 2000 had been in October and stated there was "always interest" from the Middle East.
He said: "There is always interest in the Middle East before but I didn't hear any new interest. if there is interest it will go through the procedure of the IOC."
In terms of date changes, he added: "We are not in a position to give our opinion on this issue because up until now nobody show interest to change time.
"When Australia at that time asked for October we decided to go there in October/November. Until now there is no case to show our opinion."
Although 2024 looks more likely to go to the USA or Paris - it would be the 100th anniversary of the 1924 Paris Games - the prospect of 2028 in Doha or another Middle Eastern city looks very possible.
Sheikh Ahmad said he would encourage a bid from a city in the USA.
He added: "I think the States should come back with major cities to host the Games [in 2024]. Our sponsorship and marketing programmes first started strongly at Los Angeles , and they have had many winter and summer Games.
"They have the right like all cities in the world to think about the Games but my personal opinion I think America should come back to the calendar."
The sheikh notched up a notable hat-trick in Buenos Aires, backing the new IOC president Thomas Bach who won a landslide victory over five rivals, supporting Tokyo's easy victory to become 2020 hosts, and orchestrating the reinstatement of wrestling as an Olympic sport.
But Sheikh Ahmad, a colourful figure who is surrounded by at three bodyguards even inside the highly-secured surroundings of Buenos Aires' Hilton Hotel, played down his influence on the movement.
He said: "Don't hear those rumours - I thank the media for making me a hero."
Nevertheless, the T-W-B hat-trick (Tokyo-wrestling-Bach) was the talk of the IOC session and, given the sheikh's position as head of the umbrella group of 205 national Olympic committees, ANOC, there seems no sign of his power diminishing.
ANOC administers the Olympic Solidarity fund which has 438million US dollars (£300million) to distribute between now and 2016 to deserving recipients, and for many small Olympic associations that cash is a lifeline.