— Published 6 October 2023

Istanbul holds pole

After Baku in 2015, then Minsk four years later, and Krakow this year, the European Games may soon discover Turkey. Spyros Capralos, President of the Association of European Olympic Committees (EOC), admitted as much on the eve of the opening of the EOC General Assembly: discussions with Istanbul to host the 2027 edition are progressing. And they’re going rather well. The Greek leader explained that he had had a very constructive conversation with the mayor of Istanbul, where the EOC’s general assembly is due to be held this weekend. “I can’t hide the fact that we had a very pleasant conversation with the mayor of Istanbul, explained Spyros Capralos. But we are also in discussion with other cities.” The EOC president confirmed that exchanges with potential applicants in Western Europe had not been successful. “But if we don’t have any candidates from Western or Nordic countries, that doesn’t mean it’s not a success,” he confided, adding that the EOC was not opposed to the principle of staging the event in two neighboring countries, along the lines of the last European Youth Olympic Winter Festival (EYOWF), held earlier this year in Italy, with several events in Slovenia.