POSTED: January 23rd 2011

Coe: London has moral obligation to see through Olympic legacy promise

Lord Coe, chairman of LOCOG, in the Olympic Park / lake images
Lord Coe, chairman of LOCOG, in the Olympic Park / lake images

KEIR RADNEDGE / Sports Features Communications

LONDON, Jan 23: Sebastian Coe would vote in favour of West Ham United to take over the 2012 stadium if he were a member of the Olympic Park Legacy Company deciding on Friday between takeover bids from the Hammers and Tottenham.

Lord Coe, chairman of Games organiser LOCOG, pulled no punches in an interview on BBC Radio Five with Gary Richardson; he stated that the decision concerned not merely stadium administration but the international status of both British sport and the entire country.

Coe said: “The bid was very clear [in Singapore]. This was to be a combination of athletics, community and multi-sport and we were were very clear about that. I remember a lot of things about that day in Singapore. I remember delivering a promise to the leaders of world sport; I don’t recall [talking about] bulldozing a publicly-funded facility and insiring a generation of Tottenham season ticketholders.

Corridors of sport

“What we pledged was not ambiguous, not warm words plucked out of the ether. It’s really series that we deliver on what we said unless we are prepared to trash our international reputation. There is an absolute obligation to the people of east London.

"It would be very difficult for us to be taken seriously again in the corridors of world sport - and, arguably, beyond - if we were to deliver a shoddy Games in 2012.

"We made legacy commitments and they are really important. This isn’t a shootout between West Ham and Tottenham or football and athletics, it’s our ability to be taken seriously again in the corridors of world sport.

"It is not beyond the wit of people in this country who have seamlessly delivered what the IOC is talking about as the best-delivered Games at this stage, to make this work - and we have a moral obligation to make it work . . . we have to be very, very careful about whether we are prepared to so lightly trash our international reputation."

Keywords · London 2012 · Coe · LOCOG · West Ham · Tottenham · IOC · Olympic Stadium

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