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Holding I European Games in Baku is historic event – Mehriban Aliyeva
On 2 February, the first meeting of the Organizing Committee of the first European Games to be held in Baku in 2015 was held under the chairmanship of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.
Addressing the event, Chairperson of the Organizing Committee Mehriban Aliyeva reminded that on 8 December 2012 in Rome, at the 41st General Assembly of the European Olympic Committee, it was decided to hold the European Games in 2015 in Azerbaijan, according to the official website of the President of Azerbaijan.
According to Aliyeva, a secret ballot held with participation of 48 of the 49 national Olympic committees, in which 38 countries voted in favour, 8 - against and 2 - abstentions, approved to hold the I European Games in Baku.
"Holding I European games in Baku is a historic event for our country and the European Olympic movement in general. The rapid development of Azerbaijan, which became the leading state in the region, its position in the world community and the current socio-political stability have established in the international community a confidence that the country will be able to successfully organize this significant event.
This decision is a high assessment given by the International and European Olympic Committees to holding high-level multiple sporting events, world and European championships in our country, to the achievements of our athletes in international competitions, in general to the work done in Azerbaijan in the field of sports.
Undoubtedly, this event is yet another victory of our country. Mr. President, allow me to congratulate you on this victory and to express deep appreciation for your confidence on behalf of all the members of the Organizing Committee.
Based on the experience we have acquired in the course of international events in Azerbaijan, including the European and World Championships and Eurovision-2012 Song Contest, we will do our best to ensure holding I European Games at the highest level, and will work with all forces to justify your confidence," she said.
According to Aliyeva, I European Games are to be held in June-July 2015.
"Members of the European Olympic Committee are expected to participate in these games. In accordance with the agreement reached with the European Olympic Committee, the upcoming competitions in Baku are to involve about 5,000 athletes. It is expected that the number of members of official delegations will be about 1,000 people. For coverage of the event, about 2,000 representatives of foreign media are expected to arrive in Baku. In accordance with the prior agreement with the European Olympic Committee and sports federations in Europe, the program of I European Games should include at least 12 of the 28 Olympic sports and two non-Olympic sports. This is general. We have already received letters from the sports federations of Europe with the intent to conduct competitions in 17 Olympic sports.
It is wrestling, handball, volleyball, gymnastics, beach volleyball, boxing, judo, taekwondo, badminton, fencing, shooting, archery, table tennis, swimming, diving, water polo and rugby-7. Given that the European Games are held for the first time in history, negotiations are continuing with the European Olympic Committee on many issues, and figures mentioned today may vary. Talks are under way with the European Olympic Committee and European sports federations European on determination of two non-Olympic sports to be included in the program," Aliyeva noted.
According to the head of the Organizing Committee, venues have been determined at the initial stage of preparation for I European Games.
"Competitions can be held at the Heydar Aliyev Sport and Concert Complex, the Tofig Bahramov Republican Stadium, the Baku Crystal Hall, sports complex Serhedchi, the Palace of Hand Games, stadium "8-km", the shooting stand and the Baku Expo centre. It is planned by 2015 to complete the construction of the Olympic Stadium, Water Sports Centre and the Gymnastics Complex, and these new sports palaces will also be used during the games. The official opening and closing of I European Games are to be held at the Olympic Stadium with 65,000 seats, which is being built in Baku, near Lake Boyukshor.
I would like to bring to your attention the preliminary proposals for sports facilities which will host the competitions in various sports. Wrestling and judo are envisaged to take place at the 7,100-seat Heydar Aliyev Sports and Concert Complex. Competitions in handball and volleyball are to be held at the Baku Crystal Hall, which seats 25,000 spectators. Competitions on Rugby-7 are envisaged for stadium the 8-km with the capacity of 11,000 spectators. Competitions in table tennis, fencing and taekwondo are proposed to be held at the Baku Expo Centre. Boxing events are envisaged to take place at the 3,250-seat local sports complex Serhedchi, Badminton – at the 1,628-seat Palace of Hand Games and Archery – at the 7,000-seat stadium of Shafa.
Competitions in rhythmic gymnastics are envisaged to be held at the Gymnastics Complex. Competitions in swimming and diving are scheduled at the Water Sports Centre under construction in Baku. There is a need to construct a temporary arena near the centre for the water sports. If the event will be held on the field, we can use the 32,200-seat Tofug Bahramov National Stadium. It is required to construct a temporary arena at the Seaside Promenade for competitions in beach volleyball," said Aliyeva.
She noted that the broadcast of I European Games is of special significance.
"Currently, negotiations are underway with relevant organizations for the right to broadcast. Work is underway to attract international and local sponsors to the Games.
Preparation of Baku to the European Games is of particular importance. All responsible organizations are preparing proposals for improving urban infrastructure, improving the transport system, security, optimizing medical services, increasing the use of information and communication technologies, drawing tourist destinations and cultural programs.
A working group consisting of representatives of the relevant structures will be formed to carry out the Games at a high level. A comprehensive action plan covering all areas and defining the responsibilities of each structure is now being developed. In the short term this action plan will be presented to your attention," Aliyeva noted.
In the end, the chairperson of the Organizing Committee underlined that I European Games will remain in history of our country as the next victory of every Azerbaijani.
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