Azerbaijan wants to follow up its hosting of the inaugural European Games in 2015 by landing the summer Universiade, the university games, four years later.
In a short statement, Azad Rahimov, Azerbaijan’s minister for youth and sports, said yesterday: “Azerbaijan will bid to host the Summer Universiade 2019."
FISU, the international university sports federation, officially opened the bid process for both the summer and winter 2019 Universiade on September 1, with the hosts to be selected on November 9 next year.
Azerbaijan is expected to face competition from Brasilia for the 2019 games.
The Brazilian capital presented a strong bid for the 2017 summer Universiade, but lost out to Taipei City in Taiwan in last year’s vote, with some FISU executive committee members said to be concerned that the games’ profile would suffer from the proximity of soccer's 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics in Brazil.
The Russian Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk is said to be keen on bidding for the 2019 winter Universiade.
Bidders have until March 30, 2013 to submit a letter of intent to bid, along with a bidding fee, and the submission of candidature files is scheduled for September 14. Between September 16 and October 20, visits to the candidate cities will be made by the FISU evaluation committee.
The hosts of the biennial winter Universiades of 2013, 2015 and 2017 are Trentino in Italy, Granada in Spain and Almaty in Kazakhstan, respectively, while Kazan in Russia, Gwangju in Korea and Taipei City will host the equivalent summer editions.
Azerbaijan’s capital Baku was last weekend awarded hosting rights to the first European Games in 2015, after the concept for a new multi-sports event was approved by the European Olympic Committees at its general assembly in Rome.
The games are set to take place in May 2015 and involve 15 Olympic sports and two non-Olympic sports.