By Paul Osborne
The Netherlands are set to give the green light to plans to bid for the 2019 European Games, it has been revealed following a series of positive indications.
The organisation met with the European Olympic Committees (EOC) Board in Amsterdam on December 17 and 18 to discuss their interest in hosting the newly established event, with the EOC said to have "responded enthusiastically to the approach".
At least two cities will submit a joint bid to host the 2019 edition of the Games with Amsterdam and Rotterdam strong possibilities, as well as The Hague, it is thought
"The Netherlands has a superb track record in organising events," said Gerard Dielessen, chief executive of the NOC-NSF, in a statement publicised by the body.
"We come now to a large multi-sport event.
"The NOC-NSF approach [to a] possible Dutch European Games in 2019 makes it possible to organise this European Games for around 100 million.
"Through these European Games [we will] collaborate with the Government and all interested cities, municipalities, counties and other parties including the EU [European Union]... it is possible to organise these Games in a large part of the Netherlands.
"We are working our approach now with the Government, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and other cooperation partners further."
He added: "Then we go again with the EOC in conversation.
"[For] The European Games in 2019, the challenge is to show in a creative, innovative and efficient manner throughout the Netherlands fantastic sport.
"And [with a] European Games in the Netherlands the Dutch youth will surely [be inspired] to get the best out of themselves."
Other nations rumoured to be interest in hosting the 2019 European Games are Great Britain, Poland, Russia, Belarus and Turkey, with the EOC having revealed last month that six as-of-yet-unspecified cities are interested.
Baku will host the inaugural European Games from June 12 until 28 next year, where more than 6,000 athletes are expected to compete across 20 sports in the Azerbaijani capital.
After the International Olympic Committee gave a theoretical green light to Games taking place in more than one city at its recent Session in Monte Carlo, it will be interesting to see the enthusiasm of the EOC in following suit.
On The Netherlands' potential bid for the Games, NOC-NSF President André Bolhuis said: "It would be fantastic to organise the 2019 European Games in The Netherlands."
"We win a lot of sports in The Netherlands, certainly with our major international sports tournaments.
"The top sports events organised in the Netherlands have proven valuable for Dutch society and [have] helped us to make a better place.
"After the successful organisation of top sporting events in the past twenty years and after the equally successful European Youth Olympics Festival in Utrecht in 2013, we are ready for a large and mature multi-sporting event."
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November 2014: Six candidates for 2019 European Games as timetable announced but identities will remain a secret