By Duncan Mackay at the Fairmont Flame Towers Hotel in Baku

European Olympic Committees President Patrick Hickey is hopeful athletics will be on the programme for Baku 2015October 29 - Athletics could still be included on the programme of the inaugural European Games here in 2015, it has been claimed.

Patrick Hickey, President of the European Olympic Committees (EOC), revealed here at the end of a two-day Coordination Commission visit that he is trying to broker a deal which would allow the sport to be part of the Games, which is due to take place between June 12 and June 28.

He is due to hold further talks next week with Hansjörg Wirz, President of European Athletics.

"We've been speaking with them [European Athletics] for the last half-a-year," said Hickey.

"We haven't yet found a final proposal but we believe that a solution is in sight.

"There is very goodwill on both sides."

The problem with getting the sport onto the programme is that the continental governing claim that it would clash with 2015 European Team Championships, which are due to take place in Cheboksary, Russia, on June 20 and 21.

An earlier proposal for the European Games to hold a four-day international permit competition starting on June 25, featuring all the Olympic track and field disciplines and the combined events, marathon and walking competitions, running through to the final day of the Games, is set to be scrapped with a different solution found.

Azerbaijan's Sports Minister Azad Rahimov has called athletics "the king of sports"Azerbaijan's Sports Minister Azad Rahimov has called athletics "the king of sports"

Azerbaijan's Sports Minister Azad Rahimov, the chief executive of Baku 2015, emphasised the urgency to find a way for athletics to be included in the Games.

"Athletics is a sport that brings a lot of attention," he told insidethegames.

"It is the king of sports.

"To have it on our sports programme is very important for us."

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