Grapevine: Sports Leaders Urged to Help Tsunami Victims

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge has supported a call for influential sports leaders to meet and decide on a strategy to help rebuild areas affected by the Indian Ocean earthquake.

Grapevine: Sports Leaders Urged to Help Tsunami Victims

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge has supported a call for influential sports leaders to meet and decide on a strategy to help rebuild areas affected by the Indian Ocean earthquake.

"It's a magnificent idea, an excellent initiative and I wish for it to succeed," Rogge said of the idea proposed by influential French sports daily L'Equipe on Wednesday. "In any case, if you (L'Equipe) succeed in bringing all world sports partners together around a table, the IOC will be part of it for sure.

"It would be a beautiful project to put our strengths together to turn the globalisation of sport aid into a reality."

The newspaper's initiative was inspired by a French government plan to coordinate aid efforts by French sports federations and personalities to make them more efficient.

The idea has been addressed to FIFA president Sepp Blatter, International Rugby Board chief Syd Millar, NBA boss David Stern, NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone, PGA Tour chief Tim Finchem, ATP Tour chief executive Mark Miles and Rogge.

The newspaper, also a leading sports promoter which organises the Tour de France and the Dakar rally, said sport "embodied the values needed by the broken populations and shattered countries" hit by the quake and subsequent tsunamis.

The newspaper's suggestions are usually far from wishful thinking. The soccer World Cup and European Cups were launched from ideas put forward by L'Equipe journalists.

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