Spurs must end stadium fight for sake of UK, says sport minister
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Wednesday 13 July 2011
Hugh Robertson, the sports minister, has warned Tottenham Hotspur they risk fatally damaging any British bid to host the 2017 athletics World Championships if they continue their legal challenge over the future of the Olympic Stadium.
Robertson believes Tottenham should bow to the "greater good" – along with Leyton Orient – and drop their challenge to West Ham being given the lease to the stadium. The IAAF, athletics' world governing body, has set a deadline of 1 September for all bids to be confirmed – Doha and Budapest are the other declared contenders – and if the High Court appeal has not been resolved, Britain will have to withdraw. "I would hope Tottenham would see the greater good to London, maybe it's a fond hope," said Robertson yesterday. "The initial economic planning tells us it will be a £100m boost from hosting a World Athletics Championships."
The UK has been involved in embarrassing bids to host the event in the past and Robertson is determined that will not happen again. If the future of the stadium is not settled in six weeks' time, there will be no London bid. Robertson said: "We are caught between the court timetables and the IAAF timetable.
"The key thing is if we can get Tottenham's and Leyton Orient's appeal through the High Court and, I would say, dismissed. We're in the queue and we don't have a date. If the High Court is not settled we don't have a secure venue. That would make it very difficult to bid.
"I want to bid for the 2017 World Athletics Championships. I want to be ambitious for British sport and want my time as a minister of sport to be a time when British sport is leading the world. A bid for a World Athletics Championships is a really important legacy from 2012. I find it frustrating that having been through the process we are now being dragged through the High Court, having won the first round we have the appeal to come. If we win that we will bid, but I will not let the country bid if we have not got a locked down secure venue, given the backdrop of previous bids."
Last month Tottenham and Leyton Orient lost their case for a judicial review over West Ham's selection by the Olympic Park Legacy Company, but are now appealing. West Ham are scheduled to move into their new stadium in 2014.
Latest in Sport
MK Dons 4 Manchester United 0: Emmanuel Frimpong and Edin Dzeko lead the jokes as the internet reacts to humiliating defeat
Paul Scholes: Manchester City were so good against Liverpool I felt like turning the television off
Manchester United transfer news: Daley Blind will only move for 'top price'
Arsenal vs Besiktas match report: Alexis Sanchez scores only goal as Gunners survive night of nerves to qualify for Champions League
Arsenal vs Besiktas player ratings: Alexis Sanchez? Jack Wilshere? Mesut Ozil? Who was the star man at the Emirates Stadium?
- 1 Miley Cyrus' homeless MTV VMAs date, Jesse Helt, is wanted by the police
- 2 Arizona shooting: Gun instructor accidentally killed by nine-year-old girl with Uzi
- 3 Paul Scholes: Manchester City were so good against Liverpool I felt like turning the television off
- 4 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 5 Homer Simpson takes the ALS ice bucket challenge because of course he does
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Arizona shooting: Gun instructor accidentally killed by nine-year-old girl with Uzi