European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen was in the Ukraine capital Kiev on Friday for discussions with the local athletics federation officials and politicians about the possibility of future European Athletics competitions being staged in the city.
“During our visit to Kiev, we visited the Olympic National Sports Complex and discussed the prospects of holding official competitions on it. Now we can say that the capital of Ukraine will bid to host the European Athletics Team Championships in 2021,” said Hansen.
“I looked at the statistics before going to Ukraine and in recent years, Ukraine has always been in the first eight (in the top division of the Championships) so if it fulfils this task next year, we will be able to talk more specifically about Ukraine's bid,” he added.
The 2019 European Athletics Team Championships will be in Bydgoszcz, Poland, from 9-11 August.
“If Kiev does host the 2021 European Athletics Team Championships then it can consider bidding for the European Athletics Championships. Certainly, the city has everything it needs.”
“You have everything in place to make this plan a reality. You have a great stadium and support from the state. There are many competitions in the European Athletics calendar, including European Championships in different age groups. Of course, for holding these competitions the Olympic NSC is too big, but there is a chance for smaller arenas to take these competitions."
The Olympic National Sports Complex has a capacity of 70,000 following reconstruction in 2011. It staged five matches of the Euro 2012 football tournament, including the final between Spain and Italy, as well as the 2018 UEFA Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool.
Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister for Humanitarian Affairs of Ukraine Vyacheslav Kyrylenko expressed a clear interest in his meetings with President Hansen to bring European Athletics competitions to Ukraine, and Kiev.
“This (athletics) is an extremely popular sport and we have produced many talented young athletes and they have been successful at youth and junior European and world championships. Our senior athletes have also performed successfully so staging such (major international) competitions in Ukraine is important both for the country and for athletes. From the state side, we are ready to support, and guarantee support in this endeavour in every possible way,” said Kyrylenko.
Ukraine Athletics Federation President Ihor Hotsul also gave an expanded view of increasing the number athletics stadia in Ukraine and staging European Athletics competitions in the near future.
"Our plans go beyond Kiev and the European Athletics Team Championships is not the only competition that we want to host in Ukraine. Next year will be the European Combined Events Team Championships Super League in Lutsk.
“We have two stadiums that meet international standards, the arenas in Lutsk and Kropyvnytskyi, but next year will be completed by the reconstruction of four more, which should also receive international certificates: in Khust, Uzhhorod, Dnipro and Ivano-Frankivsk. We will continue with the development of athletics in Ukraine and attract international competitions to our country," commented Hotsul.