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Olympics baby rule an anomaly: Coe

Seb Coe has said it is "an anomaly" that expectant parents are being told their babies will be refused entry to the Olympic Games unless they have a ticket.

The London 2012 chairman stressed that cut-price tickets for children had been sold and added that "we want to be a family friendly organisation".

He told ITV1's Daybreak: "It is an anomaly and we accept that.

"We had a scheme for families called Pay Your Age, which allowed you to take a child and pay the age of the child, so if you had a seven-year-old child you'd pay £7. We've been on that page for a long time but as you quite rightly point out, there are people that have bought tickets that have subsequently had babies.

"We will look at that. We recognise that we want to be a family friendly organisation."

Under 2012 rules, expectant parents have been told they can try to buy an extra ticket for their chosen event, although there are concerns that none will be available for popular events. People who get an extra ticket for their baby will be able to hold the infant in their laps but must show a ticket for somewhere in the venue, even if they do not use the seat.

Most tickets went on sale last April - 15 months before the Games. The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (Locog) has said it would reconsider the issue in April when more tickets go on sale.

Over the past few weeks, expectant mothers have described the policy as "discriminatory" on Mumsnet. Liberty has said women can contact the human rights group for help.

The National Indoor Arena (NIA) in Birmingham, which hosts a range of international sporting events, does not have a strict age policy in place. "However, we say that generally before a child is walking, we are happy for them to be admitted without a ticket," a spokesman said.

At Lord's cricket matches, babies and toddlers under three go in for free. Wimbledon does not recommend babies are taken. Children under five are allowed in without a ticket - but may not enter Centre Court or the other show courts.


From Belfast Telegraph