— Published 2 June 2023

European Championships moved to Plovdiv

It’s about time. With just over two weeks to go before the event, the European Fencing Confederation (EFC) announced in a press release that the European individual championships would soon be held. They are scheduled to take place from 16 to 18 June in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Initially, the competition was due to take place as part of the European Games, scheduled for 21 June to 2 July 2023 in Poland. However, the EFC decided to withdraw the event’s status as a European Championship, due to the Polish authorities’ announced refusal to grant visas to Russian and Belarusian athletes. The EFC explained in a press release: “On May 31, in a letter signed by Emmanuel Katsiadakis, acting president, the FIE explained the decisions taken by its executive committee, which resulted in ordering the EFC to organise an individual continental championship in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, from June 16 to 18.” The European individual championships should mark the effective return of Russian and Belarusian fencers to the international scene. Bruno Gares, President of the French Fencing Federation, explained to AFP: “The European Confederation wanted to postpone them until October, but the FIE wanted all the continents to hold their championships at the same time to avoid any unfairness in the race for Olympic qualification points.”