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Last Updated: Friday, 15 February 2008, 17:18 GMT
Rogge respect for Spielberg move
International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge
Rogge believes the Olympics will have a positive effect on China
International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge insists Steven Spielberg's departure from his Olympic Games role will not harm the event.

Rogge told French television that he respected Spielberg's decision to quit as artistic director because of China's foreign policy in Sudan.

"I have a lot of respect for Mr Spielberg. Here is a man who has had a remarkable career," he said.

"However, his absence will not harm the quality of the Games."

In a statement earlier this week, Spielberg accused China of not doing enough to pressure Sudan to end the "continuing human suffering" in the troubled western Darfur region.

China voiced its disappointment on Thursday over Spielberg's decision and said the Games would be a success regardless.

Rogge added: "He (Spielberg) was contacted by the organising committee. The IOC had nothing to do with that decision. He is leaving. It is his decision.

"He certainly would have brought a lot to the opening ceremony in terms of creativity.

"The role of the IOC is to organise the Olympic Games. We are not a sports association nor a political organisation and neither an association with humanitarian goals.

"That does not mean that everyone of us within the Olympic movement does not have his own conscience, his own very strong beliefs."

Spielberg action: China reaction
14 Feb 08 |  UK News
China 'regrets' Spielberg action
14 Feb 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Spielberg in Darfur snub to China
13 Feb 08 |  Asia-Pacific


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