IOC succession battle won't overshadow Games

IOC President Jacques Rogge held the top job in the Olympics since 2001.

IOC President Jacques Rogge held the top job in the Olympics since 2001.

JOHANNESBURG - International Olympics Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge on Monday said he was confident that the question of who will succeed him in 2013 will not overshadow the upcoming Games.

Rogge has held the top job in the Olympics since 2001, and according to IOC rules, he is not permitted to run for a third term.

Rogge said he does not expect the question of who might take over to take anything away from the Games, saying the IOC should not suffer under the presidential race.

At least three candidates are expected to run for the position in Buenos Aires in September in 2013.

Current Vice President Thomas Bach is the top pick for the position and if he gets the job, he would be the eighth European President in the committee's 119 year history.

Meanwhile in London, Friday's opening ceremony is expected to be watched globally by four billion people.

Some of the plans have been publicised and some have been a tightly guarded secret.

It was reported that there has been a last minute amendment to creat a starring role for David Beckham, as a gesture of gratitude of his efforts to ensure London's successful bid.

In what was seen as a snub to the 37-year-old, former England team mate Stuart Pearce chose not to include him in the Olympic football squad.

Speculation he may have been asked to light the Olympic flame at the stadium seems unlikely as that honour only ever goes to an Olympian, a requirement under the rules of the IOC.

Instead insiders say it will be role befitting his status.