For a long time, the athletes were uncertain when and where this year’s European Championships will take place. Due to a dispute in the leadership of the Bulgarian Weightlifting Federation, the European Championships have now been moved from Bulgaria to Albania and will no longer take place in April, but from 25 May to 5 June.
These changes were agreed on Sunday by the board of the European Weightlifting Federation (EWF). EWF President Antonio Conflitti described the situation in Bulgaria as too uncertain to host a European Championship there.
But the Bulgarian Weightlifting Federation itself is responsible for the relocation of the European Championships. In May last year, Arif Majed was elected as the new president by a large majority, but his attempts to push through reforms were blocked. The Bulgarian Olympic Committee (BOC) had initially confirmed Majed’s position, but since his name had never been officially entered in the Bulgarian commercial register, the BOC withdrew its confirmation after protests.
As a result, former President Nedelcho is officially recognized by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) – even though Majed is named president on the IWF’s website. However, since the European Federation may not contradict the World Federation, Majed cannot be recognized by the EWF (we reported).
An attempt to involve Kolev in the organization plans by entrusting him with the management of the organizing committee in Sofia failed, Conflitti said, and resulted in the European Championships being moved at short notice. This means that the European Championships will now take place in Tirana in May and not in Sofia.