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Netherlands Pulls Out Of Hosting Second European Games In 2019

The Netherlands has pulled out of hosting the second edition of the European Games in 2019, just two days before the opening of the Games' first edition in Azerbaijan.

The Dutch government said on June 10 that the 57.5 million-euro ($65 million) price tag was too high for local, provincial, and national authorities.

Dutch authorities also questioned whether there would be enough top athletes at the games because sports including swimming and athletics already have European Championships in 2019.

Patrick Hickey, the head of the European Olympic Committees (EOC), said in a statement, "This news is disappointing, but we would like to thank the Dutch for their interest."

The EOC says it will resume discussions with five other potential hosts.

Azerbaijan, the host of the first edition of the games that kicks off on June 12, spent millions building new venues and refurbishing existing ones for an event that will include 20 sports, 16 of which are Olympic ones.

A dozen sports are offering direct or indirect qualification for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP

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