Asian Games: Indonesia in row over Olympics logo

JAKARTA (AFP) - Indonesia could lose the right to host the 2018 Asian Games unless its main sporting body changes a logo that includes the Olympic rings, an official said on Wednesday.

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) last September approved Indonesia as hosts for the games after Vietnam decided to withdraw owing to rising costs.

But the International Olympic Committee sent a letter to President Joko Widodo, warning that the Indonesian National Sports Committee (Koni) could lose the Games because of its use of the Olympic's five interlocking rings in its symbol.

Rita Subowo, chairman of the Indonesian Olympic Committee, said the letter warned that using the logo amounted to a "copyright violation" and unless the issue was resolved, the OCA may rethink its decision to award the 2018 Games to Indonesia.

She said she had "reminded Koni from the beginning to drop the five rings from its logo. It potentially violates the IOC's intellectual property rights".

The Asian Games, the world's biggest multi-sport event after the Olympics, are organised by the OCA, which is recognised by the International Olympic Committee.

However, Koni deputy chief Manuel Robert Inkiriwang insisted that the body was the official holder of the five rings logo copyright.

"Koni has the legal right to use the logo," he said, adding that Koni had abandoned the logo in 2007 but started using it again in 2014.

The country's sports ministry said the government was working to try and settle the issue.

The 17th Asian Games took place in South Korea last year.