Belarus to host European Games in 2019 (UPDATE 2)

Headline changed, details added (first version posted on 12:26)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 21

Trend:

Belarus has obtained the right to hold the second European Games in 2019.

The decision was adopted as a result of voting at the 45th session of the General Assembly of the European Olympic Committees (EOC), which is being held in Minsk, BelTA agency reports.

Belarus received the majority of votes. The country needs to create the organizing committee and draw up plans for the preparation of the sports events in close cooperation with the relevant committees of the EOC.

On Oct. 21, during the meeting with the Acting President of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) Janez Kocijancic, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said that Belarus is ready to host the second European Games in 2019.

Lukashenko noted that the EOC can always count on Belarus.

Belarus is not a superpower, but it pays great attention to sports, said the Belarusian president.

“We all made a historic decision and will gather European athletes here for our Olympiad in 2019,” said Lukashenko.

He noted that he is familiar with talks of the Belarusian side with the EOC leadership. In this regard, he suggested not to hurry in determining certain details.

He added that there is also the issue of youth competitions in 2019.

Janez Kocijancic, for his part, noted that he sees the Belarusian president not only as the country’s leader, but also as a friend on the Olympic movement.

“All that you have said, fully coincides with my opinion and my approaches,” he said.

Kocijancic also noted that he had attended a number of sports events in Belarus and noted the presence of an excellent infrastructure for holding global sporting events.

“All the feedback, we received, was not just positive, but also full of enthusiasm,” he said. “Therefore, we praise your willingness to hold the second European Games.”

The EOC acting president believes that the European Games in Belarus should be a qualifying stage before the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

“It should also be another opportunity for Belarus to show its uniqueness and authenticity in sports, and of the country as a whole for the rest of Europe,” added Kocijancic.

The First European Games were held in Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku, in 2015.

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