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Sofia Takes Baton as 2024 World Capital of Sport from Turkiye’s Konya

Sofia was officially proclaimed World Capital of Sport for 2024 at a ceremony in Brussels on Thursday. The Bulgarian capital received the symbolic baton and flag from the Turkish city of Konya. 
The event was attended by representatives of cities and municipalities from all over Europe, senior officials from the European Commission and MEPs, business representatives and artists, among others.  
The Bulgarian delegation included former Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova, boxer Stoyka Krasteva, rhythmic gymnast Reneta Kamberova, figure skater Alexandra Feigin, MEP Andrey Kovachev, the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Sofia – European Capital of Sport project, Anatoly Iliev and Damyan Dikov, the head of Sofia Municipality’s Sports and Youth Activities Directorate Desislava Temelkova, among others.  “I thank Sofia for serving as an example as the European Capital of Sport. We are pleased to note that Sofia is among the best cities that have earned this recognition when it comes to the preparation and implementation of its programmes. We are one big family and the most important thing for us is continuity. That is why we are confident that Sofia will be one of the most active world capitals of sport”, said Gian Francesco Lupattelli, President of the European Capitals and Cities of Sport Federation (ACES Europe). 
In 2018, Sofia became the European Capital of Sport, after which it was declared the permanent European Capital of Sport.
Аs the World Capital of Sport in 2024, Sofia will organize over 310 events and host the Fifth World Meeting of Sport. It will bring together representatives of sports organizations from across the world to discuss a wide range of topics and issues in the fields of sports, active lifestyles and prevention. In connection with the initiative, a poll is already being organized to determine an annual Athlete of Sofia. The Bulgarian Mint will issue a Sofia – World Capital of Sport commemorative medal. A strategy and programmes for sport and physical activity for young people in the capital’s schools are currently being developed in cooperation with the National Olympic Academy. A special project will promote basketball and volleyball among Sofia’s students.
The World Capital of Sport title was established by ACES EUROPE in cooperation with UNESCO. ACES Europe and the World Capital of Sport Commission have declared Abu Dhabi the first World Capital of Sport 2019. Guadalajara won the title for the period 2020-2021, followed by Madrid for 2022 and Konya for 2023. Monaco will be the World Capital of Sport for 2025. The candidates for the title for 2026 are Baku and Naples.