European Championship 2022 shifts to Tirana from Sofia

The date, as well as the venue of the European Championship 2022, have been changed because of the weightlifting leadership dispute in Bulgaria. The traditional date in April to late May has been postponed, and the venue of the championship has been shifted to Albania capital Tirana from Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia.

The Weightlifting Federation (EWF) Executive Board took the decision on Tuesday. The decision was taken after the uncertain situation in Bulgaria; EWF President Antonio Conflitti described it as “chaos”.


Arif Majed, who recently pledged to take Bulgaria’s weightlifting to new heights, has been blocked from initiating the reforms after being elected as the President of the Bulgarian Weightlifting Federation last May by the majority of votes.

Now President Conflitti said that Majed could not work as a resident of EWF because politics might cause a big problem in the world of weightlifting.

However, the National Olympic Committee of Bulgaria agreed to validate Majed’s position but latest after the protest started, it withdrew it. And now, formal contractual agreements cannot be signed until the issue is resolved.

In recent years, it is for the second time that the venue of the European Championship has been changed in a short time and ironically, Albania was involved at that time too. In January 2018, the Albanian federation’s name was lashed out because of the doping scandal and at that time, Romania hosted the event at just 46 days notice.