Spurs insist bid for Olympic site is 'just to keep options open'

Tottenham Hotspur yesterday denied the Olympic Stadium had become their preferred new home, insisting they remained fully committed to building a ground to replace White Hart Lane.

Last week Spurs submitted a late bid to take over the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, east London, after the 2012 Games, just hours before they received planning permission from Haringey Council to construct a new stadium. The Olympic Stadium bid was initially believed to be merely a fall-back option but Tottenham's partners in the scheme, sports and entertainment company AEG, insisted on Tuesday that the proposal was far more serious than that.

These comments led to speculation that Spurs' plans to build a new home – in a scheme entitled the Northumberland Development Project – had taken on less importance. However, the club moved yesterday to clarify the situation, stating: "We are aware that coverage of comments made by AEG [has] been interpreted in various ways concerning the club's position in respect of the Northumberland Development Project and the Olympic site.

"We should like to make two things absolutely clear at this stage: firstly, we have registered an interest in the Olympic Stadium site in order to keep our options open going forward. This is a very preliminary stage and a pre-qualification questionnaire was completed jointly with AEG in order to meet the deadline for registration.

"Secondly, we continue to progress the application for the Northumberland Development Project with Haringey Council and will continue to do so with a view to achieving full consent. We have not changed our position and shall not do so without due consideration."

The Spurs midfielder Tom Huddlestone has avoided punishment for his apparent elbowing of an opponent in Tottenham's Champions League match with FC Twente.

The Twente forward Marc Janko claimed Huddlestone had deliberately "smashed his arm into my face" and left him with a nosebleed during last Wednesday's Group A match at White Hart Lane. However, after viewing video footage of the incident, Uefa has confirmed that Huddlestone has nothing to answer. "Uefa's disciplinary department decided not to open a case," it said in a statement.

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