The European Olympic Committees hope to announce the host of the 2019 European Games in October ©EOC

A host city for the 2019 European Games could be appointed within the next month, it was claimed today.

The European Olympic Committees (EOC) have set the target of announcing somewhere to stage to the event by the time of its General Assembly in Minsk on October 21 and 22.

The Belarus capital is believed to be the favourite to step in to host the event, staged for the first time in Baku in 2015.

The EOC have decided to continue to try to find a host city even though its President Patrick Hickey, the driving force behind the European Games, is currently being held in Brazil after his arrest in Rio de Janeiro during the Olympic Games on charges related to the illegal sale of tickets.

"Despite the absence of our elected President, the EOC is operating as normal and is pressing forwards in all departments and with all projects," Janez Kocijančič, who has replaced Hickey after he temporarily stood down following his arrest, said. 

"The 2019 European Games is our absolute priority and every [EOC] Executive Committee member is united behind our course of action."

Baku in Azerbaijan hosted the first European Games in 2015 but the future of the event has remained uncertain ©Getty Images
Baku in Azerbaijan hosted the first European Games in 2015 but the future of the event has remained uncertain ©Getty Images

The Netherlands had originally been awarded the 2019 European Games but withdrew on the eve of Baku last year due to lack of support from the Dutch Government.

Russia were then lined up as replacements, with the Games being jointly staged in Kazan and Sochi, but that plan has now been thrown into serious doubt following the publication of the McLaren Report which alleged state-sponsored doping in the country.

After the Report, the International Olympic Committee warned that it will not organise and give patronage to any sport event or meeting in Russia,

There remains some doubt over exactly what this means, however, as the IOC have since claimed this did not apply to events already awarded to Russia or for which a bid had been launched before the McLaren Report.

Minsk is already due to host the 2019 edition of the European Youth Olympics. 

But awarding the European Games to the country would lead to more criticism of the EOC due to allegations of poor human rights in Belarus.

The country's President Alexander Lukashenko, also head of National Olympic Committee of Belarus, has been criticised for human rights violations and persecution of non-governmental organisations, independent journalists, national minorities and opposition politicians.