Naples has been formally designated as the European Capital of Sport for the year 2026, triumphing over its contender Zaragoza in a closely contested competition. The selection committee, led by ACES (Association for the Capital of European Sport), recognized Naples for its exceptional commitment to sports as a catalyst for social cohesion and integration.
Naples emerged victorious due to its extraordinary efforts in promoting sports as a powerful tool for fostering unity and inclusivity within its community. The city’s comprehensive sports initiatives and commitment to creating opportunities for engagement were key factors in securing this prestigious title.
The award underscores Naples’ dedication to leveraging sports not only as a source of physical well-being but also as a means to strengthen social bonds and promote integration among diverse populations.
Notably, Zaragoza, Naples’ formidable rival in the bid, will not be left empty-handed. ACES, in adherence to its evaluation criteria, has decided to recognize Zaragoza as the European Capital of Sport for 2027. The city demonstrated a commendable commitment to sports and received a tie score with Naples. ACES, respecting its regulations, has opted to acknowledge both cities for their remarkable efforts, with Naples leading the charge in 2026 and Zaragoza set to shine in 2027.
This dual recognition emphasizes the competitive spirit and commitment to sports excellence within European cities, showcasing the pivotal role that sports play in shaping vibrant and united communities.
As Naples eagerly prepares to host a year-long celebration of sports and community engagement in 2026, the legacy of this achievement is expected to endure, leaving a lasting impact on the city’s sporting culture and beyond.