The Coordination Commission of European Olympic Committee formed of Jozef Liba, Peter Brull, and Florin Misca; visited Sarajevo to get insight into the state of the EYOF 2019 project and to give guidelines for further preparations.
The EOC coordination commission received organization details from EYOF 2019 director Senahid Godinjak, EOC coordination commission president Jozef Liba, Vice president of Olympic committee of BiH Izet Rađo and Sarajevo and East Sarajevo cities representatives Elvir Hadžiahmetović and Miroslav Lučić.
After the meeting with EOC officials, during the press conference, Godinjak said that the EYOF organization was on the right track and that the most important questions about infrastructure were solved. He said that currently, the greatest concern were the tender procedures for the ice surfaces.
"Works for the purpose of biathlon competition in Dvorišta are still in progress, while the tender procedures for the two ice surfaces in Skenderija Hall and Peki hall in Pale are in their final stages. We are still a little bit concerned as we don’t know when we will get those two surfaces. Other venues are completely ready for the competition." Godinjak said.
EYOF 2019 director emphasised that the winter youth Olympic games in Sarajevo and East Sarajevo would probably be largest yet because 46 countries with 1,086 athletes and around 750 members of delegations have confirmed their participation, which amounts to 1,812 participants.
However, the finances still haven't been rounded up, which means that not all funds intended for competition organizing are operational yet.
"It refers to one part of the Ministry of Civil Affairs BiH funds, but I think that delay is caused by an administrative issue, and that these funds will be transferred by the end of this or at least by next week. The Sarajevo Canton Government should also transfer 700, 000 BAM, the Republic of Srpska Government should transfer 1, 500 000 BAM for the organizational part of the competition. We have already been using 2, 500 000 BAM funds. We believe that technical issues will be resolved soon." Godinjak said.
Coordinating commission President Jozef Liba said that what was discussed at today's meeting weren’t merely the positive aspect of the project. He added that Sarajevo and East Sarajevo would be able to change their image and present themselves to the world as places with great potentials for tourism development. He pointed out that some progress was accomplished but there were some issues that needed to be resolved.
Izet Rađo was pleased by the fact that in the next year Sarajevo and East Sarajevo will be the European centers from which beautiful images will be sent.
"Let us all be happy because there comes something that will wake up memories and will remind us that Sarajevo is an Olympic city, and in this way, we return the Olympic spirit back," Rađo said.
On behalf of East Sarajevo, Miroslav Lučić pointed out that project is running according to plan.
"This project has shown the complexity of BiH and all the efforts that positive people, athletes want to make. For all of us, this is a great experience in organizing such a sports event to be legacy which will be used for much larger competitions." Lučić said.
He hopes that problems with finalizing organization will be solved.
Elvir Hadžiahmetović on behalf of Sarajevo City pointed out that Sarajevo had financed the project from the beginning and it would continue to support it next year.
He said that the city had reserved 500 000 BAM in the budget and that all funds would be paid out. It was the same thing with planned funds of 500 000 BAM for the next year.
"According to data we have, by the number of applications, participants, athletes, accompanying staff and the number of all those who accompany athletes, everything indicates that this will be the most massive winter youth festival and it also indicates that if we do our best it will be the most organized as well," Hadžiahmetović said.
Apart from the coordination commission members, EOC office representative from the Roma, Steve Scott and Francesco Paolo Basili, EYOF 2019 external associate Andreja Leskovšek McQuarrie and EYOF 2019 executive committee members also attended the meeting.
EOC representatives will visit Sarajevo again from 11th to 16th November, on Chefs De Mission and technical delegates' seminar.