#ICYMI: Qatar 2022 Feasibility; Korea Bid About 'Coexistence'; New USOC Hires

(ATR) Here are our staff picks for articles this week they really want you to know about.

(ATR) #ICYMI -- In Case You Missed It ... Sometimes the best stories don't get the attention we think they deserve. Here are our staff picks for articles this week they really want you to know about.

Qatar 2022 Wants to Carefully Study 48-Team World Cup

The main voice of the Organizing Committee for Qatar 2022, Hassan Al Thawadi, tells Around the Rings in Miami that his country is "open" to the FIFA proposal to expand the number of teams to 48 as long as it is "the best for all".

Al Thawadi, general secretary of the Supreme Committee for Organization and Legacy, responsible for the infrastructure projects needed for the 2022 World Cup, spoke in Miami this weekend with FIFA president Gianni Infantino around the meeting of the Governing Board of the world football entity.

An internal feasibility study supporting the expansion from 32 to 48 teams, which is being strongly pushed by Infantino, was given full backing by the FIFA Council in Miami.

Al Thawadi, who played a key role in the Qatar candidature process, said that his country and FIFA have continued to work together to discuss the idea, taking into account its implications for football worldwide, for the tournament itself and for Qatar as the host.

"Any decision will be made in consultation between FIFA and Qatar and with its agreement," the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) said in a statement on Friday, coinciding with the statements of its delegate in Miami.

The statement recalled that Infantino said at the press conference that the decision to raise the number of teams participating in the 2022 World Cup "is not easy."

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Korean 2032 Bid Based on 'Peaceful Coexistence'

The joint bid for the 2032 Summer Olympics is just one step in reaching the goal of "peaceful coexistence" on the Korean Peninsula, says South Korea’s ambassador to the United States.

Cho Yoon-Je spoke to Around the Rings about the goal of the 2032 Olympics in Atlanta at a World Affairs Council event with his counterpart Harry Harris, U.S. Ambassador to South Korea.

Both Cho and Harris are currently on a tour of the U.S. to promote deeper economic ties, showcasing the multifaceted aspects of the South Korea-United States alliance. The trip is sponsored by the Korea Economic Institute.

North and South Korea have been collaborating on a joint summer Olympics bid since the end of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. There North Korea attended an Olympics on South Korean soil for the first time, which set off a flurry of diplomatic engagements.

The IOC has positioned itself in the center of the dialogue, offering to help continue sports diplomacy following the 2018 Games. This included joint Korean teams at the 2018 Asian Games and 2019 World Handball Championships. The IOC is currently exploring with the National Olympic Committees from North and South Korea about potential joint teams at Tokyo 2020 and how qualification would work.

South Korea selected Seoul as its representative city for the joint bid, over the city of Busan. North Korea has not selected its host city, though it is expected to choose its capital Pyongyang.

The 2032 Summer Olympic bid race could be a crowded field with Australia, Germany, Indonesia, and India already expressing interest in the event, along with the Korean bid.

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New International Relations Chief for USOC

The United States Olympic Committee makes two more executive hires as part of its broad restructuring plan under new chief executive Sarah Hirshland.

Katie Bynum will be chief of staff, a new position.

Bynum will oversee international relations and will help coordinate the USOC’s working relationship with LA 2028 and U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Properties says a USOC release.

She joins the organization from the U.S. Golf Association.

The portfolio of international relations was previously overseen by Chief External Affairs officer Patrick Sandusky, who left the USOC to join Madison Square Garden. Sandusky also oversaw government relations and communications. Those two portfolios will be reallocated to other positions currently in the USOC.

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Written by Aaron Bauer

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