FC Barcelona President Sandro Rosell and IOC President Jacques Rogge Wednesday signed an agreement between the two organizations that will help create the Olympafrica FutbolNet Cup, a series of football tournaments for 12- to 15-year-old children in 23 African countries, according to MUNDO DEPORTIVO. The agreement marks the IOC's first-ever partnership with a sports club's foundation. Beginning next year, the tournaments will be hosted at Olympafrica International Foundation's 26 centers throughout the continent. FC Barcelona Foundation's FutbolNet project will be the basis for the Olympafrica FutbolNet Cup, with an emphasis on instilling and encouraging positive values and social development through football (MUNDO DEPORTIVO, 4/17).
Fashion firm H&M will clothe Sweden's Olympic teams during the Winter and Summer Games, "bringing a global audience for a growing line of sportswear from a company best known for budget frocks and style accessories," according to Anna Ringstrom of REUTERS. H&M plans to expand its sports collection early next year "to help broaden its offering and boost sales." H&M said that "it would create outfits for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Sochi 2014, and the Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro 2016." It will also provide outfits for leisure and training in the Olympic Village "in a deal signed with the Swedish Olympic committees." The Swedish athletes "will give input to H&M's expanded sports range and a selection of clothes designed for the Olympic teams will be sold in stores and online" around the time of the Games (REUTERS, 4/17).
Tokyo 2020 CEO Masato Mizuno vowed Tuesday to ensure safety if the city wins the 2020 Summer Games, "as the sporting world reeled from twin blasts at the Boston Marathon," according to the AFP. Mizuno: "First of all, Tokyo is one of the safest cities in the world. We'll do our best to prevent any of those wrongdoings." Mizuno played down the possibility of random bombings at the Olympics, and said groups that conduct such acts of violence know it is "not very clever" to target the Olympics and become the "enemy of the whole world." He said that "the bid committee needed to know what has actually happened in Boston before considering whether to review their security plan" (AFP, 4/16).