Volleyball at Tiananmen Square?

Berlin - A German member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Monday said he opposed a proposal to stage beach volleyball events at the 2008 Games in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

"I don't see why this competition has to take place there, of all places," German website Netzeitung quoted Roland Baar as saying.

Baar's remarks came in response to a proposal at the weekend by the Mexican president of the world volleyball federation, Ruben Acosta, on the periphery of the world championships in Klagefurt, Germany.

In 1989, Tiananmen Square was the scene of bloody government repression of Chinese pro-democracy demonstrators.

"Fortunately this is not a decision for the world federation alone," Baar said.

Acosta defended his proposal, which Baar described as extremely insensitive.

"It is we, not the Chinese, who are going to participate in Tiananmen Square. We want to show the Chinese that there is another way and build a bridge through communication," he said.

After visiting Beijing, an IOC evaluation commission rejected the square as a possible volleyball venue "for logistical reasons".

Beijing was chosen to host the 2008 Olympic Games on July 13 at an IOC session in Moscow.

When Baar queried the possible choice of Tiananmen Square at the session, a member of the evaluation commission assured him that there would be a choice of venues. - Sapa-DPA

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