THE world athletics championship had brilliant individual performances but it must have been disheartening for the athletes to compete in front of such sparse attendances.

The decision to give such an elite tournament to Qatar was always going to be controversial bearing in mind it is a small country with little sporting history and a diverse climate and culture.

With the football World Cup also to be held on Qatar in 2022, the influx of exuberant football supporters to Doha will be a different challenge for the Qatar authorities.

FIFA may well want to reconsider its decision, which was no doubt taken in good faith.

D Wearmouth, Shildon