POSTED: April 14th 2011

Hickey launches plan for European Games to join the sports calendar

Jacques Rogge: considered to be in favour / lake images
Jacques Rogge: considered to be in favour / lake images

KEIR RADNEDGE / Sports Features Communications

LONDON, Apr 15: The concept of a European, regional, sports championship is being revived by IOC member Patrick Hickey in his role as president of the European Olympic Committees.

At a time when uncertainty rumbles on over the financial value to television  and sport of track and field, Hickey has proposed a European Games event which feature all the main Olympic sports. A feasibility study is being undertaken by Deloitte.

It is believed that Hickey's proposal has the support of Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Commitee and a former leader of the European Olympic Committees. A vote is expected in November.

The Games could fight for its own place in the international calendar with events such as the European Athletics Championships and European Swimming Championships - whose organisers will haev concerns for their own financial credibility - or even replace them.

Irishman Hickey said he had the support of 47 of the 49 European NOCs and described initial interest from sponsors as "colossal".

He added: "European results at Olympic Games are diminishing all the time. Whereas we used to win the most medals, we are now dropping out of that zone. We have a feeling that a European Games can be used to spark European supremacy again at the Olympic Games."

Other continents already have their own Games. Later this year the Pan American Games will be held in Mexico, the Pan Arab Games in Qatar and the All-Africa Games in Mozambique. The Asian Games took place last year in China.

London, with its facilities fresh from the 2012 Olympics, would be a leading candidate for the first such Games which, if they went ahead, would probably launch in 2015.

Keywords · Hickey · IOC · European Games

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