EOC President Janez Kocijančič claims the deadline has been extended to allow candidates more time to prepare bids ©EOC

A deadline for bid submissions for the 2023 European Games has been extended by two months until April 30 by the European Olympic Committees (EOC).

The deadline to submit bids was previously scheduled for February 28.

The EOC have claimed their decision to extend the deadline is due to "strong interest from across the continent".

They insist the new deadline would allow potential candidates additional time to best prepare their bids.

"We have been lucky to receive a number of strong bids from across the continent, and we will be in good hands regardless of which city eventually wins the rights to host the event," Janez Kocijančič, the EOC President, said.

Katowice in Poland emerged as the first possible candidate for the 2023 Games last month.

Officials from the city held a meeting with the EOC to discuss staging the third edition of the event.

The visit followed the city expressing an interest in hosting the Games and the talks were aimed at continuing their feasibility exercise prior to potentially submitting a bid.

Kazan also appears a possible contender after Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) President Stanislav Pozdnyakov provided his backing to a possible bid.

He claimed the city "is ready to accept any complex event and ensure the highest level of organisation".

Russia was constantly linked with a bid for the European Games and was even set to be awarded the 2019 edition until the doping scandal unfolded.

The EOC held talks with Katowice last month over a potential bid ©EOC
The EOC held talks with Katowice last month over a potential bid ©EOC

The EOC were poised to give Russia the hosting rights in November 2015 before the World Anti-Doping Agency Independent Commission report revealed state-sponsored doping in athletics.

Then EOC President Patrick Hickey insisted at the time that Russia remained the organisation's "preferred partner" for the 2019 Games, despite the revelations.

The 2019 event looked to be shared by Sochi and Kazan before it was eventually awarded to Minsk in Belarus.

A bid process for the 2023 Games is scheduled to launched in September, where all 50 European National Olympic Committees were invited to enter the running.

The EOC have stated each bid will be reviewed ahead of a final decision by their General Assembly on June 20.

The second edition of the European Games is due to begin in Minsk the following day.

The chosen city would have a "full four-years to prepare for the Games as well as the opportunity to attend and learn from Minsk 2019," the EOC have claimed.

Minsk 2019 will take place from June 21 to 30.