Fourth edition of the European Games: First step for Istanbul 2027. EOC

President Spyros Capralos presented Istanbul as the host of the fourth European Games to be held in 2027. He did so alongside the Mayor of the bicontinental city, Mr Ekrem İmamoğlu, who both highlighted the virtues of the great Turkish metropolis.

"Today we take the first step for Istanbul towards the fourth edition of the European Games," said the President of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) at the beginning of the press conference in Roma, to which Inside The Games was invited.

Pending ratification by the General Assembly, which is due to take place in Bucharest at the beginning of June this year, it is a fact that the city divided by the Bosphorus Strait (which separates Europe from Asia) will succeed Krakow 2023 in hosting the fourth European Games, probably at the end of June 2027.

The event will take place one year before Los Angeles 2028, and by providing qualifying places for the thirty-fourth modern Olympic Games, success in terms of elite athlete participation is assured.

To this end, an agreement has been formalised between Istanbul and the EOC, presented by Capralos himself. "A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will be signed at Rome City Hall with a representative of the Metropolitan Municipality and the Turkish Olympic Committee to formalise the discussions that have been ongoing since last year."

"This agreement further strengthens the commitment to host the European Games and we are honoured to welcome a distinguished delegation from here to Rome, including the Mayor of Istanbul, Mr. Ekrem İmamoğlu, who was recently re-elected as Mayor of Istanbul, and the Vice President of the Turkish Olympic Committee, Mr. Cozy Malik," said the European leader, who also serves as President of the Hellenic Committee.

Spyros Capralos, receives the torch during the Olympic flame handover ceremony for the Paris 2024 at Panathenaic Stadium on April 2024. GETTY IMAGES
Spyros Capralos, receives the torch during the Olympic flame handover ceremony for the Paris 2024 at Panathenaic Stadium on April 2024. GETTY IMAGES

The signing of the MoU by EOC President Spyros Capralos, Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu and TOC Vice-President Kazım Âli Kiremitçioğlu marks an important formal step ahead of ratification by the EOC General Assembly in June and lays the foundations for the Host City Contract.

President Capralos said: "Today's agreement will enable the European Olympic Committees, together with the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and the Turkish Olympic Committee, to create a special showcase of sport for the whole of Europe."

When asked why Istanbul was chosen, he did not hesitate to say: "We know that Istanbul has a proven track record of hosting major events and already has the infrastructure in place to host the Games. In fact, there are no plans for new permanent venues in Istanbul for the 2027 European Games, which is crucial for the EOC and in line with the IOC's Olympic Agenda 2020 and the NERC 23 Strategic Agenda".

The lack of need for major construction and the environmental friendliness of this approach, particularly from an economic point of view, are emphasised. Large financial outlays will not be necessary, ensuring the economic success that the EOC is advocating to ensure the sustainability and future of these European Games.

"The focus for Istanbul will be on upgrading existing venues and ensuring that they serve the local population and elite athletes. Once the Games are over, we believe these Games will inspire children across Turkey and the continent, and the opportunity to train and play at the Games venues is key to this," Capralos made clear in the wide-ranging and engaging press conference.

In this way, the host of the fourth European Games was formally introduced, not without addressing important economic issues, the growth of the Games and the future prospects of a European Games that has come to stay and continues to expand.