A garbage collector pulls a trolley full of cardboards at...

A garbage collector pulls a trolley full of cardboards at Kadikoy ferry terminal, in Istanbul, Turkey, Monday, March 4, 2024. Credit: AP/Francisco Seco

ISTANBUL, Turkey — Istanbul is set to host the 2027 European Games, giving the Turkish capital a chance to show it can stage an international multi-sports event as it eyes the 2036 Olympics.

The European Olympic Committees group said Wednesday that its executive committee unanimously picked Istanbul as the host, although the decision still needs to be approved by national members at a meeting in June.

The European Games were first held in 2015 and serves as a continental championship and Olympic qualifier for a number of sports. The 2023 edition in Poland featured nearly 7,000 athletes competing in 29 sports, including athletics, boxing and table tennis.

EOC president Spyros Capralos said in a statement that “Istanbul and Turkey have long been good friends of international sport” and that no new venues need be built specifically for the European Games.

Istanbul was second to Tokyo in the bid contest for the 2020 Olympics and city officials said last year they want to target the 2036 Summer Games.

India is also planning to bid for the 2036 Olympics, with the Australian city Brisbane having already been awarded the 2032 games.

The International Olympic Committee has changed its process for awarding Olympic games in recent years, inviting preferred candidates for exclusive talks instead of having an open bidding process.

Ferry boats sail the Bosphorus connecting the European side, up...

Ferry boats sail the Bosphorus connecting the European side, up and bottom, with the Asian side, top right, of Istanbul, Turkey, Wednesday, March 6, 2024. Credit: AP/Emrah Gurel

Turkey will also co-host soccer’s 2032 European Championship with Italy.

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