4 November, 1998DOHAQatarThe President of the IAAF, Dr Primo Nebiolo, is visiting Qatar, where he met with the Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.
The Emirate of Qatar had the distinction of organising this year a Grand Prix meeting, which for the first time allowed the participation of women both as athletes and spectators, creating a degree of controversy throughout the Arab world.
Nebiolo praised the Emir for the courage displayed on this occasion and went on to stress that the participation of women must also be guaranteed in 1999, if the meeting were to retain Grand Prix status
The Emir gave the fullest guarantees that this would be so and also expressed his support for the candidacy of Qatar for the IAAF Golden League/Grand Prix Final in the year 2000. The Final would be the first major athletics meeting after the Sydney Olympics and would surely benefit from considerable post-Olympics media attention. The weather conditions in the Emirate at that time of year are also particularly favourable.
The meeting concluded with the Emir discerning to Dr Nebiolo his countrys greatest distinction: the Order of Independence.