Originally created 08/09/99

Report says bands decision to be reversed



SYDNEY, Australia -- A ban on American and Japanese marching band members performing at the Sydney Olympics opening ceremony will be reversed this week, Sydney's Daily Telegraph newspaper reported Monday.

Under a plan devised by Olympic officials, the bands' contractor -- American-based World Projects Corporation -- also would be offered a substantial sum to cover legal costs, the newspaper said.

The paper reports the Sydney organizing committee will be asked to approve a new international band comprising "hundreds" more Australians and more players from other nations.

The Americans and Japanese would be offered no less than the seven minutes they were originally promised in the Sept. 15, 2000 opening ceremony.

The last-ditch bid to resolve the marching band crisis would be finalized at a special meeting of the board of the Sydney games organizer SOCOG on Wednesday, the newspaper said.

Last month, Sydney Olympics chief executive Sandy Hollway tried for a compromise with World Projects Corporation, which has started legal action against SOCOG for reneging on the deal.

The court case is due to resume in Sydney on Aug. 16.