Baku to Host First European Olympics in 2015

December 8, 2012

The first-ever European Olympics is set to be a reality after Baku, capital of Azerbaijan was announced host of the inaugural event in 2015.

The European Olympic Committee voted to approve the creation of the new competition, which will be held every four years, after all 49 member countries met to discuss the proposal in Rome.

“The National Olympic Committees (NOC) have received assurance that the event will not cost them a penny, but bring financial gains,” the EOC said in a statement.

“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.”

It was expected that both Russia and Turkey would apply to host the inaugural event – but Baku emerged as the only bid following the secret ballot, in which 38 voted in favour of a European Games.

The competition still has some hurdles to overcome, however, with the European Athletics Association having already voted against members participating in the 2015 event.

The International Association of Athletics Federations is also not yet convinced by the idea.

An IAAF spokesman told BBC Sport: “The IAAF position remains as voted a few months ago with other summer Olympic IFs and we support the European Athletics Association’s position not to accept to participate. This is our position.”