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Gaddafi 'will not attend Games'

Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi will not be coming to the London 2012 Olympics, the Government has said.

His son Muhammad al-Gaddafi, who is head of Libya's National Olympic committee (NOC), has been given "a few hundred" passes to the Games, London 2012 organisers said.

This will not mean that Gaddafi will get to the Games as members of his regime would be hit by an EU travel ban.

Prime Minister David Cameron's official spokesman said: "The fact is that Gaddafi, his family and key members of that regime are subject to a travel ban and won't be allowed to travel here to the Olympics in any event".

He said it was "a decision for the IOC, not for us" what tickets were allocated to Libya.

Britain is currently part of Nato military action against Libya, and Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir David Richards said we can sustain it for "as long as we choose to".

A British government spokesman said: "Gaddafi, his son and key figures in the current Libyan Government are banned from entering the EU and will not be coming to the Olympic Games.

"As with all National Organising Committees, the Libyan NOC, not an individual, has been allocated a few hundred tickets which they are responsible for distributing to sports organisations and athletes within their country. Every international visitor is subject to the UK's immigration controls, and will be refused entry if they don't meet the rules."

The IOC said no tickets have been printed or paid for and they are waiting until "the current situation becomes clearer".

An IOC spokesman said: "Quite sensibly we will retain this 'wait and see' policy until we can be absolutely certain that the tickets can be used correctly. The IOC will of course continue to insist on the point that the athletes from whatever country are independent of government and should have a right to compete."


From Belfast Telegraph