United World Championships are a bad idea, says IOC

ST PETERSBURG, Russia Fri May 31, 2013 8:24am EDT

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ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) - A plan by the newly-elected head of an umbrella sports body for a United World Championships every four years is not a good idea because of the already congested sports calendar, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Friday.

International Judo Federation boss Marius Vizer, who was elected president of SportAccord, an organization of Olympic and non-Olympic federations, on Friday, said the new event was not planned as a rival to the Olympic Games.

"They (the IOC) don't have to be worried because it's a different event with a different background, a different strategy," he said. "We will do everything in partnership and in agreement with all international sports organizations."

The plan is for the event to take place every four years, with the first edition in 2017.

"The event will be organized in a country and events divided in different cities and different regions according to the infrastructure and different facilities necessary to every sport - of course in a period convenient for all international federations," Romanian-born Vizer, an Austrian citizen, said after his election.

However, IOC president Jacques Rogge rejected the idea.

"I am nearing the level of my irrelevance but it contradicts with the opinion of ASOIF (Association of Summer Olympic International Federations)," said Rogge, who is stepping down after 12 years in September.

"ASOIF 10 days ago came up with a declaration that the international program is already too congested and that there are too many events," Rogge said.

"So this is something that has to be discussed not only between the IOC and SportAccord but also within SportAccord itself."

An already busy international sports year will have one more event in 2015 with European Olympic Committees preparing the inaugural European Games to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan.

(Editing by Clare Fallon)

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