9 Dec 2012

European Games approved after EOC vote

2:26 pm on 9 December 2012

The European Olympic Committee has voted to launch a European Games multi-sport competition with the first event taking place in the Azerbaijan city Baku in 2015.

The EOC held a secret ballot at its 41st General Assembly in Rome with 38 voting in favour, eight against and three abstaining.

The event, which will take place every four years, will include 15 Olympic sports and two non-Olympic sports which are yet to be chosen.

The EOC says Baku will be a test and it is hoped will turn into a long series in years to come, there are still plenty of technical details to decide, and the event is in no way intended to be a copy of the Olympic Games.

It says the National Olympic Committees have received assurance that the event will not cost them anything and will bring them financial gains.

There has been considerable opposition to the idea of a new Games event, particularly from the European Athletics Association which has already voted against the participation of its members.

The EOC is also likely to have problems convincing other sports that already have well-established events in a packed European calendar, with swimming being one of the key Olympic sports that would struggle to find time for the new event.

Baku was the only city to offer itself as a candidate for the inaugural Games.