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Baku Expected To Enter Olympic Bid Race

On the heals of successfully hosting the first European Games in Azerbaijan this month, Baku is said to be set to bid for the Olympic Games, the head of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) told the Associated Press Sunday.

EOC President Pat Hickey said that he expects officials to “announce very shortly that they will be a bidder for the future.”

Baku failed in consecutive bids for the 2016 and 2020 Games, both times missing the short list and the final International Olympic Committee (IOC) election ballot. But with the European Games behind them along with experience and the construction of key infrastructure – the city is said to be ready for another try.

Last week Azad Rahimov, Azerbaijan’s Youth and Sport Minister said “we have time until September, to analyze the outcome of the European Games, just to see where we are, what our possibilities are and after that, I think the decision will be made.”

September 15 is the deadline for the submission of nominations for the 2024 Olympic Games so the Azerbaijan capital can still consider entering the current race immediately or wait until the 2028 bid that will kick off some time in 2019.

Paris entered the 2024 race last week and immediately became the bookmakers’ favourite. Rome was first to enter the race but is struggling due the the weak Italian economy that forced its exit from the 2020 race. Boston, set to unveil “bid 2.0″ later Monday, has had difficulty finding acceptance among Boston constituents and may not make it to the starting line. Budapest is set to enter the race in July after receiving expected government approvals.

The IOC will elect a winner in 2017 at a session in Lima, Peru.


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