Belfast Telegraph

Coe warns of decision dangers

Lord Coe has warned Britain's reputation in international sporting circles would be "trashed" should Tottenham be chosen this week as the preferred bidder to occupy the Olympic Stadium.

West Ham - who are bidding jointly with Newham Council - have pledged to retain the athletics track at the site while Tottenham plan to convert the stadium into a football-only venue while simultaneously redeveloping the Crystal Palace athletics stadium.

Coe led the successful bidding campaign to bring the Olympic Games to London in 2012, and the campaign pledged that the stadium would remain a multi-sport venue after the event. He told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme: "It's really serious that we deliver on what we said we were going to deliver, unless we are prepared to trash our international reputation."

He added: "The bid was very clear and unambiguous. This was a community facility, multi-sport, track and field,

"I remember delivering a vision to leaders of world sport about a generation of young people being inspired to take up Olympic sports. I remember talking about young people in east London fashioning their futures through sport.

"I'm prepared to revisit my words that day, but I genuinely don't recall a whole heap about bulldozing down a publicly-funded facility, replacing it with a Premiership football club and inspiring a generation of Tottenham season ticket holders, however many there may be on a waiting list.

"We must be really clear here. What we pledged in Singapore was not ambiguous.

"I took those words very seriously - I delivered them."


From Belfast Telegraph