Qatar to host Winter Olympics

QATAR has won out in a bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympics.

Despite having zero snowfall, no ski slopes or winter sports facilities of any kind, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach described Qatar’s bid as a “triumph of the optimism of the human spirit”.

He said it was high time a major winter sporting event was hosted in the Middle East, blaming anti-Arab prejudice for resistance to the idea.

The Emir of Qatar said: “We shall encase the entire country in a gigantic, temperature-controlled ice dome.

“Then Nepalese workers with chainsaws will dismantle the top half of Mount Everest section-by-section and drag it to Qatar on massive sledges.

“There is a small chance that these plans may fall through. However, we have back-up plans – traditional winter sports could be replaced with new events such as dune luge, sand hurling and flogging.”

The IOC decision has not been met with universal approval, especially after several players drowned during an open air exhibition ice hockey tournament in Doha.


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Kevin Phillips makes debut for One Direction

LEICESTER City striker Kevin Phillips was cheered wildly on his debut for One Direction’s reserves last night.

The veteran was brought on in the 67th minute to sing backing harmonies on a few album ballads but his contribution was drowned out by the screaming of middle-aged male Leicester fans.

Phillips said: “Singing heartfelt lyrics about chaste romance written by teams of Scandinavians has always been a key part of my game.

“I actually had trials for Take That as a teenager, before the football took off, and I’ve continued gazing into the camera while professing eternal devotion in my own time.

“Sometimes, to entertain the lads, I’d do a few uplifting ballads in the shower after the game, crooning them into a bar of soap.”

Observers said the 40-year-old performed creditably but messed up a crucial step-forward at a key change, leaving the team struggling to present a united front while swearing their love would always be true.

Fan Nathan Muir, who tweets as @FutureMrPhillips, said: “Pop concerts aren’t really my thing but Kevin was incredible.

“Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go home and finish my slash fiction about his torrid secret relationship with Paul Konchesky.”