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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 December 2005, 14:12 GMT
IOC chief backs funding increase
IOC president Jacques Rogge
Rogge is keen for Britain to have a successful Games in 2012
IOC president Jacques Rogge has backed calls for the Government to provide extra money to help Britain's athletes prepare for the 2012 Olympics.

UK Sport and the British Olympic Association have asked the Treasury for around 100m a year and Rogge is supporting their call for more funding.

"Of course I support the BOA in this. The money is very much needed," he told the Evening Standard.

"Good results for the host nation are vital for the success of the Games."

The cash boost would be used to help elite athletes and potential medal winners achieve a target of coming fourth in the medal table in 2012.

"The Games will not be successful if they are not successful for GB athletes. It's as simple as that," added Rogge.

It is far easier for governments to commit spending on infrastructure than on sport because it is more widely accepted
IOC president Jacques Rogge

"The Games may be well organised but you miss the fervour and excitement if you don't have the medals.

"When I had a meeting with Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell recently I said I hope she makes sure there will be a very strong home team.

"But I do know that it is far easier for governments to commit spending on infrastructure than on sport because it is more widely accepted.

"The idea of giving more to athletes is not so popular with the public because there is the wrong perception that they are wealthy anyhow.

"It is the unknown athletes who need the money. There is no better example than your curling team."

Meanwhile, Rogge expects London to spend around 1.25bn on actually running the Games, 335m more than Athens.

Rogge says the increase is mainly down to inflation and he has guaranteed the IOC will pick up half the tab through TV and sponsorship rights with the rest coming from ticket sales, merchandising and local sponsorship.


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