POSTED: March 28th 2011

Minister urges London Olympics bodies to resolve cash row

London's Olympic Stadium in east London / lake images
London's Olympic Stadium in east London / lake images

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT / Sports Features Communications

LONDON, Mar 28: Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has demanded that the London Olympics organisers and the British Olympic Association hurry to end the funding row which has marred the launch of ticket sales to the 2012 Games.

With the International Olympic Committee's co-ordination commission in London this week, the Government wants an end to the increasingly embarrassing spectacle of public wrangling between LOCOG and the BOA over how to split any eventual surplus.

Hunt, interviewed on BBC Radio Five, said: "This is not the right argument to be having so close to the Olympics in our country. I think it is an extraordinary thing that just over a year before the Games that we are going into this sort of dispute, which frankly is not going to benefit anyone.

"We need to sort it out quickly, it is just very disappointing and I do not think anyone would say it is the right way to be focusing our energies. I can't really see how anyone's going to be a winner from this because there is no more money."

The dispute centres on whether the BOA is entitled to a share of the surplus from the Olympics alone or from the Games and the traditionally loss-making Paralympics combined.

The IOC supported LOCOG's contention that the Olympics and Paralympic Games should be combined before surplus payments are distributed. This prompted the BOA to take the issue to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Tension between the two bodies was exacerbated last week when BOA chairman Lord Moynihan and ceo Andy Hunt were barred from LOCOG board meetings on the grounds of a conflict of interests.

Keywords · LOCOG · BOA · London 2012 · IOC · Olympic Games · Jeremy Hunt · Moynihan

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