By Nigar Orujova
The Netherlands will take the torch of Baku 2015 European Games, as the country’s bid won the European Games 2019.
The decision was taken at the meeting of the Extraordinary General Assembly of the European Olympic Committee in Turkey on May 16. The representatives of 50 National Olympic Committees of Europe gathered in Belek for their annual seminar.
Invited by the Turkish NOC and its President Ugur Erdener, 180 delegates addressed the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and Agenda 2020.
The second day of the event discussed the inaugural European Games in Baku. Following, a workshop was transformed into an Extraordinary General Assembly, which decided on the venue for the second European Games.
The Dutch were the only bidders for the European Games 2019, an exciting and innovative new multi-sport event for the continent.
EOC president Patrick Hickey said the Dutch proposition "prioritizes flexibility, sustainability and world-class quality."
The country is expected to hold the Games in different cities - which are not defined yet. Amsterdam, The Hague and Eindhoven are expected to be the main host cities though, while Rotterdam and Utrecht withdrew in view of the cost.
Baku 2015 European Games will be the biggest sporting event in Azerbaijan's history.
More than 6,000 athletes will represent their nations during the 17 days of competition in Baku in less than a month. There will be a total of 20 sports at Baku 2015: 16 Olympic sports and three non-Olympic sports.
Moreover, the Games in Baku will allow 11 sports qualifying opportunities for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Potential hosts of the European Games 2019 were Great Britain, Poland, Russia, Belorussia and Turkey.
Netherlands has an excellent track record in organizing large-scale events. The organization of such a major event is expected to cost the Netherlands over 100 million euros.
Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar
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