Qatar, still fending off questions surrounding the 2022 World Cup, will host the 2019 World Athletics Championships.
Doha saw off rival bids from Barcelona and Eugene, Oregon, in the US.
The event will take place from 28 September to 6 October in order to avoid high summer temperatures.
Doha’s bid specifically requested to stage the event later in the year than is traditional, following the 2022 World Cup’s continuing struggles with finding an appropriate time to stage the tournament.
The IAAF Council has made Doha the first Gulf city to host the event, after it received 15 votes to Eugene’s 12 in the second round of voting.
The Qatari capital missed on the 2017 championships, with London winning the bidding process by 16 votes to 10.
Yet already the International Association of Athletics (IAAF) Council’s decision to award the event to Doha has been met with criticism from athletes as well as human rights campaigners.
A 2012 Human Rights Watch report found that migrant construction workers in Qatar face serious exploitation and abuse, including forced labour.
Today the group’s Middle East researcher, Nicholas McGheehan, told the Guardian that the IAAF’s decision “raises the question as to how important it considers the lives and welfare of the migrant workers on whom the 2019 world championships will depend”.
Earlier this year the Qatar government agreed to improve conditions for foreign workers following sustained condemnation.
Playfair Qatar, a Trade Union Congress powered campaign group for World Cup construction worker’s rights, tweeted this afternoon that it was “aghast” at the IAAF’s decision.
— Playfair Qatar (@PlayfairQatar) November 18, 2014
Professional athletes have also questioned the decision. Following the news, British Olympian Jack Green tweeted: “Changing the champs to October? No thank you.”
Changing the champs to October? No thank you.— Jack Green (@jackpgreen) November 18, 2014
Furthermore, while a September/October championships will avoid the highest desert temperatures, it will also mean a clash with the 2019 World Cup in Japan.