45th General Assembly of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) has voted to give Belarus the right to host second European Games that will take place in 2019.
The 2019 Games will be the second edition of the continent’s multi-sports event.
“We have made a historic decision and in 2019, European athletes will gather here for our Olympics,” Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said at a meeting of the European Olympic Committees in Minsk on Friday, according to the BelTA news agency.
“We are not a superpower, but we pay a lot of attention to sport”, added Lukashenko, who is also president of the country’s Olympic committee.
Belarus received a majority of vote. Now, Belarus needs to set up an organizing committee and compile a plan for the sport forum in close cooperation with the corresponding EOC commissions, BelTa reports.
According to Reuters, Netherlands withdrew from hosting the second edition, scared off by the cost of the event, while second option Russia was ruled out following the massive state-backed doping scandal this year.
The First European Games were held in Azerbaijan on 12-28 June 2015. They were attended by 5730 athletes from 50 countries. 253 sets of medals were played in 30 sports.
Belarus won 43 (10 gold, 11 silver and 22 bronze) medals to place seventh in the medal table.