POSTED: February 28th 2011

What's in a number? Iran threatens boycott over London 2012 logo

The London 2012 logo
The London 2012 logo

KEIR RADNEDGE in Munich / Sports Features Communications

MUNICH/LONDON, Mar 01: Iran has threatened to boycott next year's Olympic Games, claiming that the London 2012 logo is racist because it resembles the word "Zion."

A formal letter has been sent to International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge by Bahram Afsharzadeh, secretary general of Iran's National Olympic Committee.

Afsharzadeh's letter, according to the official IRNA news agency, urges other Muslim states to oppose the "racist logo." He says: "There is no doubt that negligence of the issue from your side may affect the presence of some countries in the Games, especially Iran which abides by commitment to the values and principles."

Iranian athletes have refused to compete against Israelis but the only criticism so far of the jagged London logo which displays the numbers "2012" has been on its artistic and design merits.

The complaints were rejected by the IOC and London organisers.

An IOC spokesman said: "We received the letter from the Iranian NOC with regard to the London 2012 logo, and our response is as follows: The London 2012 logo represents the figure 2012, nothing else."

A LOCOG statement reiterated: "The London 2012 logo represents the year 2012, nothing else. It was launched in 2007 following testing and consultation. We are surprised that this complaint has been made now."

** London-based Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby have been appointed to design the torch that will carry the Olympic Flame around the UK during the 70-day relay next year. The flame will arrive into the UK from Greece on Friday, May 18, 2012.

Keywords · London 2012 · Olympic Games · Iran

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