By Nigar Orujova
There are seven candidates for the following European Games in 2019, said Head of the European Olympic Committee Patrick Hickey, Reuters reported on June 21.
"We have gone back to the five candidates we dealt with originally, but with the success of these Games, two new candidates have come in addition, so we have a wide choice now," stressed Hickey.
The EOC president noted that initially, there were six candidates, but the Netherlands fell by the wayside, leaving five. “We have now two additional candidates. But there will be no decision for a while.”
In May, the Extraordinary General Assembly of the European Olympic Committee in Turkey proclaimed the Netherlands as the host country for the second installment of the Games. Potential hosts for the 2019 European Games were Great Britain, Poland, Russia, Belorussia, and Turkey.
The country, however, declined the honor on June 10, citing financial issues.
Turkey has raised the prospect of hosting the second Games after refusal from the Netherlands.
Vice-President of the Turkish National Olympic Committee, Hasan Arat said Turkey may host the next European Games. “If Turkey nominates its candidacy to host the second European Games, we believe the European Olympic Committees will positively respond to this.”
He added that not only Istanbul, but also Mersin and Antalya have all the necessary conditions for hosting the Games.
At present, the Azerbaijani capital of Baku is hosting the inaugural European Games from June 12 until June 28. The magnificent opening ceremony and the proceeding sports competitions have riveted the attention of the small South Caucasian country and the whole world.
Azerbaijan gathered over 6,000 athletes to compete in 20 sports, 16 of which are Olympic sports and 12 of which are qualifiers for 2016 Olympics in Rio.
The Baku 2015 European Games is the biggest sporting event in Azerbaijan's history. The country was awarded the Games by the European Olympic Committee in December 2012.
Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar
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