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24 October 2016

2019 European Games program to depend on Belarus’ sports infrastructure

The number of sports at the 2019 European Games will depend on the capacity of Belarus’ infrastructure, First Vice President of Belarus’ National Olympic Committee Maksim Ryzhenkov said in an interview with the ONT TV channel, BelTA has learned.

“We will participate in drawing up the list of sports to be included in the program of the Games. However, the list will vastly depend on the infrastructure that Belarus has today. Given this, the European Games will feature as many sports as the infrastructure of Minsk will be able to accommodate without large additional investment,” Maksim Ryzhenkov said.

He pointed out that the Belarusian side has already been offered assistance with the organization of the event and introduced to the partner companies of the European Olympic Committees and the International Olympic Committee. Together with Belarus, they will be conduct marketing and promotion activities and channel considerable part of their revenues into the organization of the large-scale sports event.

Maksim Ryzhenkov pointed out that Belarus has plans to introduce the same entry procedure as the one that was used during the 2014 IIHF World Championship in Minsk, for the 2019 European Games. “This includes visa-free entry for the athletes and participants. As for the guests, now I cannot give any specific details on the mechanism as it is still under consideration. For instance, a ticket to the IIHF World Championship in 2014 was, in fact, as a visa,” Maksim Ryzhenkov recalled.

He said that work is underway to collect information necessary for the organization of the 2019 European Games. The information will be used to draft provisions that will be included in the final contract for hosting the Games. The tentative provisions will be discussed with the relevant working group of the European Olympic Committees.

BelTA reported earlier that Belarus was elected to host the Second European Games in 2019 after a vote at the 45th General Assembly of the European Olympic Committees in Minsk on 21 October.