Coe defends decision to hold World Athletics Championships in Doha

MONACO - JUNE 09: (CHINA OUT, SOUTH KOREA OUT) IAAF President Sebastian Coe speaks during a press conference after the council meeting on June 9, 2019 in Monaco. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)

Despite criticism over swathes of empty seats and dangerously-hot conditions , International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) president Sebastian Coe defended the decision to hold the World Athletic Championships in Doha, and insisted that their strategy of seeking out new host venues would not change.

Coe blamed the regional blockade of Qatar by its neighbours for the poor attendances. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and its allies have cut direct air, land and shipping routes, as well as closed airspace to Qatari aircraft, and restricted their citizens from attending.

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