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November 19 - The European Olympic Committee (EOC) are set to move their General Assembly and Executive Committee Meeting next month from Israel to Italy due to the escalating Gaza Strip crisis in the region.

Over 25 people have been killed in the last week in the Gaza Strip located between Israel and Egypt as Israeli forces keep up air strikes that they say are aimed at stopping rocket attacks against them.

Fewer rockets have been launched but Israeli towns are still being hit in a war that has so far seen 95 Palestinians and three Israelis killed in six days of violence.

The nearby Israeli city of Eilat was scheduled to host the EOC's 41st General Assembly and Executive Committee Meeting on December 7-8.

But insidethegames has been informed by the EOC that both meetings will be moved to Rome after several National Olympic Committees (NOC) made it clear that they would not travel to Israel with the bloody conflict going on.

The General Assembly and Executive Committee Meeting will still be held on December 7-8 while it has been moved to Rome because that is where the EOC headquarters are based.

The EOC were understood to be reluctant to move the event after the Olympic Committee of Israel (OCI) had spent almost three years organising the prestigious gathering but they were left with no choice given that the attendance would have been so low.

The General Assembly next month is set to be of huge importance as the main item on the agenda is the formation of a potential European Games.

The European Games has been discussed at length by the EOC for many years and the General Assembly in Rome will make a final decision on whether it should be put in place or not.



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Association of Summer Olympic International Federations' Director Andrew Ryan:


No Room for European Games

Though the proposed European Games will be discussed at Friday’s meeting, Ryan says not to expect any change of heart from the ASOIF Council.

“Recently, a letter has been received, and we have to discuss the consequences of that,” he tells ATR.

“But our position remains unchanged. We don’t believe it’s viable, particularly due to the calendar, the fact that it’s so crowded in Europe.”



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So ASOIF.. do romm in your calendar ! Why will the european be the only one in this world to not get their Continental Games ? The spectators are waiting for them....

They have the European youth Festival, Mediterranean games, Balkan Games, Games of the Small States of Europe so program is crowded.

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EYOF is for the youth, so not in competition with European Games !

And what about the other... pretty unknown and not follow !

No the problem is the European Championships and the numerous international ones that took place in Europe.

This is only about money... and IFs that do not want to cancel some of their events (why having some world champs every year or 2 years ???) as they will probably loose some revenues and sponsors ! And some locations for their events ....

So, my bet, they are making pressure on EOC to get a more detailed plan and a higher share of revenues.... Once it will be done, they will change their mind !

But those IFs have no consideration for the sport movement, the fans and spectators :(

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European Games could be launched on Saturday

Lausanne (dpa) - Panamerican, Asian and African Games are well established, and now the Olympic committees of Europe appear set for a similar sports extravaganza on the old continent.

The European Olympic Committees (EOC) meet on Saturday in Rome to make a final decision on the inauguration of the Games some 20 years after the first ideas were floated.

And if all goes according to plan, Azerbaijan‘s Baku could host the inaugural European Games in May 2015, Olympic sources told dpa.

However, there is resistance as well, especially from the showcase sport of athletics, where the European Athletics Association (EAA) is strictly against participating at European Games.

The 41st EOC general assembly brings together more than 400 delegates and its president Patrick Hickey told dpa at this week‘s International Olympic Committee executive board meetings in Lausanne that he expects an "excellent presentation" from Baku.

The capital of Azerbaijan promises privately funded Games which will serve as a test whether European Games find acceptance in a tight sports calendar.

In this respect the EOC has nothing to lose but IOC president Jacques Rogge remained cautious and didn‘t want to make any predictions.

"I used to preside over the EOC and we conducted a survey 15 years ago whether there was a place for continental Games in Europe. We came to the conclusion, in the mid-1990s, that there isn‘t enough space in the international calendar, especially in Europe with its many championships," Rogge said.

Some sports federations appear to have changed their mind by now amid a consensus that European Games would feature only 15 sports instead of the 28 at Olympics.

But Rogge said that "some are in favour, others not" of continental championships.

The Panamerican Games and Asian Games have each had 16 editions since their inauguration in 1951 and the African championships have had 10 editions since their debut in 1965.

It will depend the influential federations in key sports, and the EAA council has already voted against the presence of its athletes at European Games.

German athletics federation Clemens Prokop said "European Games without athletics would be quite a farce," given the vast success of the showcase sport at the 2012 Olympics in London.

German Olympic Committee general director Michael Vesper said that "our (sports) federations have voiced their scepticism last December (2012)," but said it was legitimate to think about European Games, given that other continents have successful events.

However, Vesper said it was impossible to ignore the fact that key sports such as athletics, football and swimming have "well-working European championships which they market well and which occupy the competition calendar." dpa rai svb bag


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European Olympics: Vote in Rome to decide possible new eventBy Matt SlaterBBC sports news reporter

A new European Olympics, similar to the Asian or Pan-American Games, could be added to the sporting calendar by 2015.

Delegations from the 49 members of the European Olympic Committee (EOC) are meeting in Rome this weekend to vote on the proposal.

Backed heavily by EOC president Patrick Hickey, the European Games were first suggested in 2010.

The idea initially received a cool response but it now seems likely that the proposal will be voted through.

Azerbaijan, Russia and Turkey are believed to be interested in hosting the new multi-sport event, with the energy-rich Azerbaijan being the most enthusiastic of the trio.

“There is a great interest in Europe to see European champions. So let's do it. Let's give it a go”

Patrick HickeyEuropean Olympic Committee president

The British Olympic Association (BOA) is one of the 49 members of the EOC, and chief executive Andy Hunt has travelled to the Italian capital for Friday's meetings and Saturday's vote.

Hunt tweeted on Friday: "On my way to Rome today for the European Olympic Committee. Main topic will be a decision on the proposed new European Games."

The BOA is understood to be cautiously supportive of the concept, provided room can be found for it in a crowded timetable.

That, however, is a major worry for some of the larger sports in the Olympic movement, with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) particularly opposed to any new addition to the international schedule.

With athletics being the cornerstone of the Summer Olympics, the European version would struggle to attract broadcasters and sponsors without the sport. But the IAAF would be reluctant to risk any dilution of its biennial World Championships.

There are similar concerns at other big global sports such as basketball, swimming and volleyball, all of whom have major events of their own to protect.

However, Hickey was confident the vote would be successful. He said: "There is a great interest in Europe to see European champions. So let's do it. Let's give it a go."

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Baku to host first European Games in 2015

December 8 - Baku was today chosen to host the inaugural European Games in 2015.

The decision to hold the Games was taken at the 41st European Olympic Committees General Assembly, which was attended by 49 National Olympic Committees.

"A new baby has been born," said EOC President Patrick Hickey after the proposal to hold the event was approved with 38 votes in favour, eight against and two absentions.

It brings Europe into line with other continents which already have regional competitions, such as the Asian Games and Pan American Games.

The idea for a European Games has been on the agenda for several years, since current International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge was President of the EOC more than a decade ago, but this is the first time that a vote had been held on the proposal.

The event will consist of 15 sports and two non-Olympic sports.

The European Games' first challenge will be to get athletics and swimming, the two most high-profile Olympic sports, to take part.

LEN, the European Swimming Association, have still to agree to be part of the programme while the European Athletics Association (EAA) have already voted against the participation of its members.

Both sports already have well-established European Championships of their own, with editions of their events due to take in 2014.

Berlin is due to host the European Swimming Championships while Zurich is scheduled to be the host of the athletics event.

The European Games will be held every four years with the first edition taking place in the capital of Azerbaijan, which was the sole bidder.

Baku had bid unsuccessfully for the 2016 and 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, failing to make the shortlist on each occasion.

Plans to hold a European Games when Rogge was President were shelved because feasability studies did not make it practical.

But under current EOC President, Patrick Hickey, the proposal has been refined.

"We are the only continent without a games," said Hickey.

"There is a great interest in Europe to see European champions.

"So let's do it.

"Let's give it a go."


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Associated Press' article:

European Olympic Committees vote to create 1st European Games in Baku in 2015 with 17 sports

ROME - The inaugural European Games were approved Saturday by continental Olympic committees and assigned to Baku in June 2015.

The secret ballot of European Olympic Committees ends years of debate, passing with 38 in favor, eight against and three abstaining. The capital of Azerbaijan was the sole candidate.

The results were met with applause from the floor of 49 delegations at the two-day EOC general assembly.

Other continents already have regional competitions, such as the Asian Games and Pan American Games. The biggest obstacle to a European Games had been the fact that two major sports — athletics and swimming — already have established continental competitions.

It remains unclear if athletics and swimming will participate in 2015.

Dates have not been fixed yet, but as many as 7,000 athletes are expected to participate. The event will include 15 of the 28 summer Olympic sports, plus two non-Olympic sports, which haven't been selected yet.

Sports that could be confirmed include: archery, badminton, boxing, canoeing, fencing, handball, judo, rugby sevens, shooting, taekwondo, table tennis, triathlon and volleyball.

Negotiations are also under way with the European Union of Gymnastics.

The games will be held every four years.

The idea for a European Games had been under consideration for years, but this was the first time the EOC voted. The already crowded sports calendar had been among the main concerns.

"These first games will be very much a trial and test run for a huge event in 2019," EOC President Patrick Hickey told The Associated Press on Friday. "My idea is that this would become a qualifier for the Olympic Games in 2020 for certain sports. We have to negotiate with certain federations."

Athletics and swimming world championships have already been scheduled for 2015. The athletics event will be held in Beijing in August, while the swimming competition is slated for Kazan, Russia, in July.

In a statement, European Athletics ruled out any involvement for 2015, although the governing body left the door open for possible participation after that.

"2015 is for us not possible as we already have contractual obligations to honor," it said. "Nowadays, though, the future is requesting a strong coordination between sports bodies and other parties such as television, for example, in order to be successful. If this coordination can be achieved, then European Athletics is open to looking to such solutions."

Athletics and swimming European championships will be held in 2014.

"We're open to looking at our options and we don't want to say `No' before the fact, but the calendar is already packed and 2015 is around the corner," European swimming federation (LEN) President Paolo Barelli told The Associated Press.

Baku submitted a bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics but was eliminated when the IOC selected a shortlist of three finalists in May.

Armenia asked not to vote, as it remains in a conflict with Azerbaijan over the mountainous territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.



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This will certainly help Baku's 2024 Olympic Bid. Congrats to them!

Though they should have waited for 2019 as that would have the real thing with all Olympic sports present.

archery, badminton, boxing, canoeing, fencing, handball, judo, rugby sevens, shooting, taekwondo, table tennis, triathlon and volleyball.

Gymnastics is under negotiation.

And one more Olympic sport.

Note both swimming and athletics are missing.

Both Asia and Africa have swiiming/athletics championships yet they have a multi sporting event. Idk why Europe is being stubborn

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Hey all! I will try to highlight here some important news in regard to European Olympic Games 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan :)

European Games in Azerbaijan can be held on 19 kinds of sport
Baku – APA. A foreign company will assist our country in organizing the first European Games.

This company will be selected through tender. Such a step has been taken as there is no experience in this field, not only in Azerbaijan but also in Europe,” said the Minister of Youth and Sports Azad Rahimov at the press conference, APA reports.

According to Azad Rahimov, for now it has been specified that European Games will be held on 13 kinds of sport for the present. These are handball, volleyball, rugby, boxing, judo, taekwondo, triathlon, archery, equestrian sport, badminton, fencing, canoe, table tennis. Besides, competitions will also be held on two non-Olympic games: “We offered karate, because this kind of sport has developed in our country well. We had talks with the President of World Karate Federation Antonio Espinosa. He approached positively to the inclusion of karate into the program of the European Games. Pat Hickey, President of the European Olympic Committee offers dance sports. It is true that I have formerly been the president of Azerbaijan Dance Sport Federation. But to what extent are dance sports appropriate to this event? Therefore, chess can be included in the program.

There must not be problem while choosing wrestling, water sports and gymnastics. The issue on athletics is being reviewed. It is not ruled out that in general, European Games will be held on 19 kinds of sport. The number and composition of all sports are to be clarified till March, 2013,” he said.

11 December 2012


Azad Rahimov gives interview to Eurosport and Inter TV

The Minister noted the importance of the first European Olympic Games for the capital of Azerbaijan, which will be held in Baku in 2015, according to Sport.1news.az.

"On 10 December, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev congratulated our people on this historical achievement. This shows the importance of holding of these major events in the country for both the leadership and our people”, he said “I believe that after the Games we will see further development of Baku”.

The Minister of Youth and Sports paid attention to the fact that Baku bid to host the Olympic Games in 2016 and 2020, and the corresponding work has been done to this end.

"The European Olympic Committee commends the organization of sport events in our country. All this, coupled with a government guarantee on high level arrangement of first European Olympic Games allowed us scoring 38 votes out of 48”, he said.

According to Azad Rahimov, existing urban sports infrastructure makes it possible to hold the European Games in Baku.

"We will construct temporary sports facilities for some sports. In addition, Olympic stadium for 65,000 seats will be ready for the opening ceremony before the Games”, he said, “Sports and Concert Complex named after Heydar Aliyev, the Republican stadium named after Tofig Bahramov and other urban centers will be used. The main issue is the construction of the Olympic Village, there are options."

The Minister said that all proceeds from the sale of broadcasting rights of European games will be passed to Azerbaijan, the country has been given the right to sell tickets. This will supplement our budget by at least 100 million euros. In addition, European games will play a role in the development of tourism, transport infrastructure and other areas.

12 December 2012


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Construction of Gymnastics Arena, which will host European Rhytmic Gymnastics Championship 2014, to finish next year:


Btw in 2015 we will have a fantastic venue for chess - Baku Chess Palace, which will host Chess World Cup 2015 and Chess Olympics 2016:

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As for Olympic Stadium and Aquatics Center, it is a bit tricky question. We have only 2,5 years to go yet most of the works should be done from a zero point. What do you think, how realistic is to build those two permanent venues in only 2,5 years?

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