(Reuters) - European Athletics president Svein Arne Hansen is “surprised by the complete lack of process” in the IAAF’s decision to bypass the usual bidding process and award the 2021 World Championships to the United States.
The sport’s world governing body announced in Beijing on Thursday that it had decided to award the 2021 edition to Eugene, the second largest city in the state of Oregon.
IAAF President Lamine Diack said the decision had been made after the governor of Oregon, the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) and television broadcaster NBC had highlighted the benefits of taking the championships to the United States.
“I would like to congratulate USA Track & Field and Vin Lananna, who has led Eugene’s bid, but I must say I am very surprised by the complete lack of process in the decision the IAAF has taken,” Hansen said in a statement.
”The IAAF knew that Gothenburg was a serious candidate for the 2021 World Championships.
”Swedish Athletics and the city had put in a lot of effort over the years to prepare the bidding application but they have not even been given the chance to bid for the event.
”I have already spoken to Swedish Athletics Federation President Bjorn Eriksson and he is deeply disappointed about what has happened.
“This type of decision would just not happen within European Athletics as we have a comprehensive bidding process that all candidates must follow.”
Beijing will host the championships this year and the next edition will be held in London in 2017.
With Doha hosting the event in 2019 and now Eugene in 2021, it will be the first time the championships have been held outside of Europe for two consecutive editions.
“This is, of course, not good for the development of our sport on the continent,” Hansen said. “European Athletics expects the World Championships to come back to Europe in 2023.”
Reporting By Michael Hann, editing by Pritha Sarkar