World Athletics boss turns on Britain over 2012 stadium proposals

12th IAAF World Athletics Championships - Previews

12th IAAF World Athletics Championships – Previews

International Athletics Association Federation chief Lamine Diack has spoken today about Britain’s plans for the Olympic stadium, and has told the world the Britain will have told a “big lie” if they turn the stadium into a football stadium.

Both West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur have put proposals forward to take over the stadium after the Olympics, contradicting the committee’s stance when Britain made the bid, where they promised the stadium would remain as an athletics legacy.

“They’ll have made a big lie during their presentation,” said Diack.

“There will be no credibility… of a great country like Britain.”

And the International Olympic Committee member continued,”[There would be] no way to comeback as far as my generation is concerned,” he stated.

“You can consider you are dead. You are finished.

“This nation has a number of heroes in athletics. I could spend an hour, listing one by one all those who’ve achieved fantastic things in athletics. They are still there, involved. And this country, this city saying that I’m not able to have a stadium of athletics?”

He was very keen to suggest that Britain would be giving up any hope of hosting any future major international events, if they went through with plans to turn the stadium into one for football.

The OPLC (Olympic Park Legacy Committee) will meet next Friday to discuss the final proposals, which are due by the end of this week.

They are sure to take into account Mr Diack’s comments, but in a world of economic uncertainty may have no choice but to take one of the football clubs up on their offer.

Whilst Britain is currently being attacked for their management of the situation, is it fair that one of the only countries in the world who could physically afford to host the athletics extravaganza are getting the level of criticism that they are, especially when the bid was made in more prosperous times.

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Comments & Debate

  1. January 20, 2011 at 7:22 pm Brian Draper Commented:

    I cannot believe this. Disgraceful! It just shows how much financial power and influence football wields in this country. It seems that money always corrupts, always rules. A promise is a promise and this stadium should remain 100% for athletics. If not, then I agree with Lamine Diack that no one will ever trust us again. Incidentally, I have no personal interest in sport at all – only in what is right.

  2. January 20, 2011 at 7:27 pm C Oston Commented:

    Why do we need the olympics?, official ego trip. Let France have the hassle.

  3. January 20, 2011 at 8:08 pm Mark Commented:

    Brian, why is it disgraceful?

    I’ll tell you what is disgraceful; the fact that the place would crumble if a football club didn’t knock it down and start again. Why do you think Crystal Palace is so run down?
    The Olympic Stadium has no toilets! The toilets that will be used are portable ones. How can you have a modern day stadium with only portacabin style toilets.

    You should be thanking Tottenham Hotspur for being able to turn it into something that will be a legacy rather than a white elephant.

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