EOC President Spyros Capralos, right, handed the flag to Borjomi Mayor Otar Arbolishvili at the Winter EYOF 2023 Closing Ceremony ©EOC

Borjomi Mayor Otar Arbolishvili has received the European Olympic Committees (EOC) flag as the countdown begins for the Bakuriani 2025 Winter European Youth Olympic Festival following the conclusion of Friuli Venezia Giulia 2023.

At the end of the Closing Ceremony in Italy on Sunday (January 29), EOC President Spyros Capralos performed the handover to mark the finish of the Festival which saw athletes from 47 countries compete in 13 disciplines.

Head of the Georgian National Olympic Committee Leri Khabelov claimed it was a special day for sport in the country.

He also expressed hope that the Georgian Government would continue to cooperate with preparations so that they could "properly" host the event.

The Bakuriani 2025 Organising Committee has a budget of $37 million (£30 million/€34 million) for the construction of venues for the Festival.

Georgia's Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has promised that preparatory works for hosting the event would begin this year.

He also hopes that the facilities will be used by Georgian athletes to prepare for future competitions instead of having to travel abroad in some cases.

Garibashvili has also pledged his full support to the Organising Committee.

Bakuriani was awarded host status for the Festival at the EOC General Assembly in November 2020.

Prior to the 2025 event, Bakuriani is due to host this year's Freestyle Ski, Snowboard and Freeski World Championships.

It is scheduled to take place from February 19 to March 5 and preparations have been highly commended by the International Ski and Snowboard Federation.