Athletics Weekly | World Championships must return to Europe in 2023, says Svein Arne Hansen - Athletics Weekly
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World Championships must return to Europe in 2023, says Svein Arne Hansen

World Championships must return to Europe in 2023, says Svein Arne Hansen

The European Athletics president has called for a European host of the event after Doha 2019 and Eugene 2021

European Athletics president Svein Arne Hansen has called for the 2023 IAAF World Championships to return to Europe after the next two editions.

Qatar’s capital, Doha, is to host the event in 2019, while Eugene in the USA will stage the Championships in 2021. It is the first time that the World Championships will be held outside of Europe for two consecutive editions.

“I am convinced that we have to be in Europe in 2023 for the IAAF World Championships,” said Hansen at a European Athletics Council meeting on Wednesday.

“As shown by the spectacular success of the recent World Championships in London, Europe is the centre of the athletics world and our athletes and fans deserve the stage the we can provide in any number of cities in 2023.”

Hansen added that he believes the IAAF must follow the next two editions of the Championships in Doha and Eugene by ensuring 2023 is awarded to a city in Europe, “especially taking into account it has now switched to a more targeted approach to event allocation instead of official bidding”.

He continued: “Everyone in our European Athletics family understands how important it is for our global showpiece event to be hosted on our continent at regular intervals. This not only provides the ideal stage for excellent performances from the world’s top athletes but also has a positive impact on television audiences and commercial income.

“We need to keep developing the sport here in Europe and everyone agrees the World Championships is the best tool for doing so.”

Hansen’s comments came the day before it was announced that Birmingham had beaten Liverpool in the race to be the English candidate city for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The next edition of the IAAF World Indoor Championships, taking place next March, will also be held in the West Midlands city.

At the 149th European Athletics Council meeting, members also agreed that a large number of proposed changes to the Constitution should be put to vote at the upcoming Congress in Vilnius, Lithuania on October 14.

Erich Teigamägi, the Council member who led the Constitutional Review Working Group, said: “The CORE (Constitutional Review) Working Group have worked diligently on the review over the past year to ensure we are in line with the IAAF Constitution in terms of good governance and that our Constitution is a modern document in line with the times.”

Hansen added: “Very importantly, a key proposed amendment is that from the 2019 Congress there will be at least one male and female among the president and three vice presidents, with at least two from each gender from 2027; and that among the 13 other Council members, from the 2019 Congress we have at least three from each gender, from 2023 at least five from each gender, and from 2027 at least six from each gender.”

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