MINSK, 16 February (BelTA) – The European Para Taekwondo Championships 2017 will be hosted by Belarus instead of Russia, First Vice President of the European Taekwondo Union Fred Buitenhuis said as he met with Belarus’ Sports and Tourism Minister Alexadner Shamko on 16 February.
The tournament has been scheduled to take place in Ulyanovsk. However, after the International Paralympic Committee suspended the Russian Paralympic Committee from the participation in international competitions, the organizers of the tournament could not receive a clear answer on whether the host team will be able to take part in the competitions. Russia decided not to host the championships. As a result, it was decided that the European Para Taekwondo Championships will run in conjunction with the European Taekwondo Championship, which is due to take place in the Minsk Palace of Sports on 7-10 September 2017. Representatives of the European Taekwondo Union assured that the tournament costs will not exceed the budget of the European championship.
“The hosting of the championship among the athletes with disabilities was discussed with the representatives of the Belarusian Paralympic Committee. Belarus agreed to host the tournament which will be held as part of the main competitions,” Alexander Shamko said.
The minister stressed that guests from 80 countries can now arrive in Belarus via Minsk National Airport visa-free for five days. The participants of the European sports forum will be also exempted from consular fees given they arrive in the country by other means of transport.
The First Vice President of the European Taekwondo Union said that he had already seen the benefits of the country’s new visa rules. In his words, Minsk is a beautiful city and a big sports center. “The European Taekwondo Union made a good choice by granting Belarus with the right to host the championship. The forthcoming tournament is of great importance ahead of the Second European Games, which are due in Minsk in 2019, and the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. In Minsk athletes will compete for rating points which means Olympic qualification. Minsk will also host the 6th European Para-Taekwondo Championship. We are grateful to Belarus for its readiness to host the competitions. We have a lot to do together. The European Taekwondo Union will soon post the relevant information on all its websites, including the information for fans who will be able to come to Belarus visa-free to support their favorite athletes,” Fred Buitenhuis said.
The agreement on hosting the European championship will be signed between the European Taekwondo Union and the Belarusian Taekwondo Federation in one of the Minsk hotels on 17 February. The European Taekwondo Championship will take place in the Palace of Sports on 7-10 September. Belarus is expected to host more than 80 sports events in 2017.