After the 2022 FIFA World Cup earned Qatar both plaudits and censure, the energy-rich Gulf state is now starting a marathon to secure the 2036 Summer Olympics and a place as a pillar of world sport.

Even as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo scored goals and shed tears in Qatar's multi-billion-dollar stadiums, its sports administrators were booking new victories off the pitch.

During the tournament, Qatar was awarded the 2025 world table tennis championships and the opening race of the world endurance championship in 2024, adding to its packed calendar.