Baku has emerged as the favourite to host this year's European Judo Championships after it was confirmed today that the event will definitely not be staged in Glasgow following a row over sponsors.
The European Judo Union had announced last week that they were cancelling the event in the Scottish city because the "British Judo Association (BJA) does not fit the EJU criteria to host the EJU flagship event".
It followed a dispute over the signing of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) as a sponsor of the event, due to take place at the Emirates Arena between April 9 and 12.
The European governing body had claimed the deal "did not meet the EJU values".
Last year International Judo Federation President Marius Vizer had warned that a migration of judokas to other sports would represent a "spiritual contamination" of the sport amid fears that top stars were being lured to mixed martial arts.
The BJA had launched an appeal to try to get the EJU to reverse the decision but have now given up.
"It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I have to confirm the cancellation of the forthcoming European Championships in Glasgow following the EJU's decision to withdraw the hosting rights," Kerrith Brown, chairman of the BJA, said.
"Our only aim since being awarded the honour of hosting the Championships in June 2013 was to work with our partners to deliver a hugely successful celebration of the sport and we were on track to do just that with only seven weeks to go until the event.
"British Judo believes that throughout its partnership with the EJU in planning the upcoming Championships, it has consistently acted in a professional and diligent manner, based on what we feel is in the best interests of the sport and the athletes competing at the European Championships.
"The Championships are a critical competition in the qualification for Rio 2016 and so in light of the withdrawal of the event, we felt there is no alternative other than for an alternative host to be found."
It would have been the first time the European Championships had been staged in Britain for 20 years.
"Our biggest disappointment in confirming this news is for the spectators and volunteers that we know were so looking forward to another world class judo event in Glasgow," Brown, the 1984 Olympic under-71 kilogram bronze medallist, said.
"Our priorities are to now ensure immediate and effective communication with all our stakeholders to update them on the current position and make sure our elite coaching teams have all the support they need to best prepare our athletes for the Championships."
Israel has already contacted the EJU to express their interest in replacing Glasgow but EJU President Sergey Soloveitchik is believed to prefer holding the Championships as part of the first-ever European Games, due to be held in Baku between June 12 and 28.
A decision is expected early next week.
Meanwhile, the BJA is asking anyone who has brought tickets for the event in Glasgow to contact them at [email protected] to arrange a refund.
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February 2015: Glasgow stripped of 2015 European Judo Championships after sponsorship row
February 2015: UFC to help support 2015 European Judo Championships in Glasgow
November 2014: Former BJA chairman takes top role in mixed martial arts despite "spiritual contamination" warning from Vizer
November 2014: Migration of judokas to other sports would represent spiritual contamination, says IJF President