ANOC Postpones Presidential Election
The Association of National Olympic Committees postponed its presidential election "amid farcical scenes" on Wednesday in the wake of Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah's decision to "temporarily step down from the post because of an ongoing legal case," according to Jack Tarrant of REUTERS. The 55-year-old was the only candidate in the election for president so his decision to temporarily leave the post "meant the election would need to be adjourned." Still president of the Olympic Council of Asia, he "remains a powerful figure in sport" and there was a "clamor among some delegates to re-elect him in any case." Guyana Olympic Association President Kalam Azad Juman-Yassin said, "This particular ship of ANOC has been sailing very smoothly so now it is not the time to abandon the captain." Sheikh Ahmad was "eventually forced to return to the hall to plead with the delegates to agree to the adjournment" (REUTERS, 11/27).
'FEEL THIS POWER': KYODO reported the largest-ever ANOC general assembly convened in Tokyo on Wednesday with preparations for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games "among the items to be discussed." The two-day event at a Tokyo hotel opened with Japanese PM Shinzo Abe delivering an address to the more than 1,400 representatives from all 206 NOCs. He said, "We're in this together as Team Japan, working to create a safe and secure Games, one that will be pleasing and attractive for all." In his opening remarks, IOC President Thomas Bach "praised the host city for its exceptional preparedness" with less than two years until the Games begin. Bach: "I do not remember -- and I have some experience with Olympic Games -- but I do not remember any host city which was so far in its preparations two years before the Games than Tokyo. You can feel this power the Japanese people have embraced and how much they are looking forward to this" (KYODO, 11/28).
TOKYO PARTNERS: INSIDE SPORT's Harsh Sharma reported Tokyo 2020's organizing committee expanded its sponsorship agreements with Coca-Cola Japan and Ajinomoto. Both companies will become sponsors in the newly-added business category of "Coffee Beans and Instant Coffee Powder/Granules." Even though the Tokyo 2020 sponsorship program "in principle accepts only one sponsor company in each business category," the organizers after discussions with the IOC decided to share this category between the two companies (INSIDE SPORT, 11/28).