EOC LAUNCHES EUROPEAN GAMES
08 December 2012
Rome, 8th December – So decided the 49 NOCs of Europe at their 41st General Assembly in Rome. The second day’s proceedings indeed began with a presentation and discussion on the idea, launched 3 years back but that has been in the ‘Olympic air’ for a long time.
This highlight of the Assembly began with president Patrick Hickey and two experts illustrating the project that will come to fruition in 2015 thanks to the generous offer of the city of Baku (AZE) that has agreed to host the inaugural European Games in 2015. The Baku delegation, including the NOC representatives and the minister for youth and sport, then illustrated their project, presenting a modern and dynamic city that is practically ready to host this new sports event.
The NOCs of Europe voted the proposal by secret ballot with an overwhelming majority, confirming Baku as the host city for the inaugural edition in 2015. The exact dates have not yet been fixed, but the Games will presumably take place in late spring or early summer and will have around 15 sports on the programme.
There are plenty of technical details to decide, but the Assembly has above all shown its will to go ahead, and make this sports event, which is in no way intended to be a copy of the Olympic Games, a tool with which to enhance the attractiveness of sport. The NOCs have received assurance that the event will not cost them a penny, but bring them financial gains.
The host city contract was signed shortly afterwards by EOC President Patrick Hickey, EOC Secretary General Raffaele Pagnozzi, the Minister of Youth and Sport Azad Rahimov, for the Government of Azerbaijan and the Vice President of the NOC of Azerbaijan, Dr. Chingiz Huseynzada.
As stated by president Hickey, Baku will be a test, that it is hoped will turn into a long series in years to come.