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  Monday, 16 July, 2001, 08:35 GMT 09:35 UK
Tough challenges ahead
Former Cuban supremo Fidel Castro with Juan Antonio Samaranch
Samaranch put his political skills to good use
BBC World Service Sports Correspondent Harry Peart looks ahead to the tasks that lie in wait for Jacques Rogge, Juan Antonio Samaranch's successor as IOC president.

Juan Antonio Samaranch was the last of the Latin triumvirate of autocratic administrators who have changed the world of sport.

For 24 years, Joao Havelange of Brazil ruled world football as president of Fifa, and his organisation attained unbelievable heights of financial power.

His departure in 1998 triggered a bitter war of succession between Sepp Blatter and Lennart Johansson, which Blatter won - but the sniping continues.

Primo Nebiolo of Italy, as president of the IAAF for 18 years, turned athletics from a sport run in a shared London house into the richest of Olympic sports.

Former Fifa president Joao Havelange
Havelange: a similar reign in charge of world football

His death two years ago has left no obvious successor, and uncertainty reigns.

Juan Antonio Samaranch has ruled the IOC for 21 years in the same manner as Havelange and Nebiolo.

Henry Kissinger, who sat on the Reform Commission following the Salt Lake City scandal, noted the firm hand that Samaranch used to keep the members in line.

Rogge will face a host of problems from the first day of his reign.

The unity that marked Samaranch's early presidency will be hard to achieve.

Samaranch with an award for Best Sports Leader in 1999
How will the IOC progress without Samaranch?

The vote, albeit secret, will reveal opposing alliances that will need a high degree of political skill to overcome.

Most candidates expressed concern at the "gigantism" of Olympic Games.

But how do you reduce the size without offending some of the international sports federations?

Most IOC members and host bidding cities want visits to be restored under closely supervised conditions.

But how can this be achieved without undermining public confidence even further?

No joy ride

The Reform Commission brought in more members, including athletes, but the system of presidential patronage still remains.

This results in major geographical discrepancies. For example, Switzerland has five members, but Asia, Africa and South America have 51 between them.

The sports federations and the National Olympic Committees, as usual, will be demanding more money. So the new boss must decide how to share it out.

The 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games is bound open the corruption scandal wounds all over again, so how can the internal workings of the IOC be made more accountable and transparent?

Rogge will be called the most powerful leader in world sport, but in spite of the trappings of wealth and influence, the job will be no luxurious joy ride.

News from the IOC's 112th Session in Moscow

China gets first Games

Rogge wins presidency

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Olympic features

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BBC expert quizzed

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See also:

04 Jul 01 | Olympic Votes
15 May 01 | Other Sports
Links to more Olympic Votes stories are at the foot of the page.


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