View Full Version : Baku awarded 2016 Olympiad

Kevin Bonham
09-09-2012, 04:32 AM
Baku, Azerbaijan was awarded the 2016 Olympiad today. The 13 million euro Baku bid was competing with more poorly resourced bids from Tallinn (Estonia) and Albena (Bulgaria). The Estonian bid was withdrawn, citing the cost of hosting the World Cup as well (FIDE gives preference to bids for both) and the Bulgarian bid was more or less sidelined for the same reason.

There was some procedural debate about an Executive Board recommendation that the bid from Baku be considered and debated alone and other bids be only considered if it was rejected. However this recommendation was passed with a handful of votes against.

Much of the discussion concerned the political situation involving Armenia and Azerbaijan and various "guarantees" were given concerning the visa rights and safety of Armenian players and ethnic Armenians. There were also many examples presented of recent cases of the two countries competing in sports on each others' soil.

In the end the Baku bid was approved by acclamation without any recorded objections (not even from Armenia) but there were a few comments that hopefully the political situation between the two countries will be better in four years' time. It seems no-one wanted to consider the possibility that it might be worse.