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Sarajevo interested in hosting Formula E race

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SARAJEVO (Reuters) – Sarajevo is hoping to host a Formula E race next year after a proposal by the Bosnian capital’s mayor was backed unanimously by the city council on Wednesday.

The council now needs to approve 100,000 euros (87,722 pounds) of funding for a feasibility study with organisers of the all-electric city-based series.

There was no immediate comment from Formula E.

Formula E has already announced that the opening round of the 2018-19 season will be held in the Saudi Arabian city of Riyadh, and is in discussions with a number of undisclosed locations.

A full calendar is due to be published in June.

Mayor Abdulah Skaka said bringing a race to Sarajevo, whose plight became synonymous with a 44-month siege by Bosnian Serb forces during the Bosnian war in the 1990s, would boost tourism and the economy.

Nearly 500,000 international and local visitors came to the Sarajevo region last year, up 22 percent from 2016, according to city authorities.

Despite boasting some of the largest green areas in the region, Sarajevo lies in a valley surrounded by high mountains and is notoriously prone to fog.

Heavy traffic, poor spatial planning and solid-fuel based heating are mostly to blame for the poor air quality.

(Reporting by Maja Zuvela: Editing by Daria Sito-Sucic and Alan Baldwin)

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