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  • Hickey to Meet Pope, Aiding Preps for Vatican Convention


    Hickey and several IOC members will attend the committee meeting in the Vatican (Getty)
    (ATR) The EOC president is to meet Pope Francis this week ahead of a Baku 2015 European Games debrief in Rome.

    Pat Hickey has been asked to sit on a committee to help the Vatican prepare for a 2016 convention called Sport and Faith: Sport at the Service of Humanity.

    The IOC Executive Board member will meet briefly with Pope Francis on Thursday before the advisory ‏committee gets down to business.

    Around the Rings understands that other IOC members are participating in the two-day meeting. ANOC president Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, Prince Feisal Al Hussein, founder and chairman of Generations for Peace, and Mario Pescante will bring their views to the table.

    The committee will discuss how sport and faith can come together to promote common goals and set some clear objectives for the convention, which is being organized by the Vatican’s culture minister Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi.

    ATR is told that it will be a “major Vatican event not exclusively Catholic but open to all faiths”. No date for the convention is fixed but it is expected to take place in autumn next year.

    Later on Friday, Hickey will break from the Vatican committee to lead the EOC’s debrief of the 2015 European Games, which runs through Saturday.

    Baku 2015 CEO Simon Clegg and Azad Rahimov, Azerbaijan’s sports minister and chair of the organizing committee, will be among senior representatives of all major Games stakeholders involved in the meeting.

    Hickey will also present an update on bidding for the 2019 European Games. Last month, the EOC chief told ATR that the European Olympic Committees was in "heavy negotiations" with two cities in one Eastern European nation to stage the 2019 edition.

    Hickey has a busy week ahead. After the debrief, he travels to Montenegro and then on to Albania where the EOC Executive Committee convenes in Tirana on Sept. 17.

    Reported by Mark Bisson

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