Van Commenee pledges to resolve bitter Idowu row

Head coach wants 'solution' to stand-off over how and why triple jumper pulled out of Euro Team Championships

It was not exactly a "peace in our time" declaration but at the end of the European Team Championships here yesterday Charles van Commenee pledged to bring an end to the Great British Twitter War that has cast an embarrassing shadow over the British squad's time in the Swedish capital.

"This whole issue needs a solution," the head coach of UK Athletics said, referring to his public spat with Phillips Idowu about the circumstances of the world triple jump champion's withdrawal from the British team. "I can't make a solution here in Stockholm. I have to do it back in London."

It remains to be seen whether Van Commenee and Idowu can repair their relationship but a meeting between the pair is urgently required after the damage done since the eve of the championship's British team press conference on Friday. It was during that gathering that Van Commenee accused Idowu of lacking "dignity and responsibility" by announcing his withdrawal from the team on Twitter. Idowu responded on Saturday by claiming that the coach's assertion that the pair had discussed the matter was "a blatant lie."

"The situation is not good as it is and we need to find a solution together," Van Commenee added yesterday. "That's what's going to happen." Asked if he could work together with Idowu, Van Commenee replied: "I never do 'if' questions. I am a very factual person."

As to being called a liar, the Dutchman said: "Obviously that's one of the things that needs to be addressed. Sometimes it's a good thing to bite your tongue. I'll address everything that needs to be addressed in private."

The fact that the dispute has thus far been conducted in a public arena could hardly help foster team spirit two months ahead of the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, and 13 months away from the London Olympics. Idowu could not resist having another dig at Van Commenee on Twitter yesterday, tweeting: "I was juggling and my daughter said I look like a clown. At least it wasn't for just being on Twitter. Hillarious!"

Van Commenee might not have seen the funny side, having embellished his admonishment of Idowu on Friday by saying: "Twitter is for clowns and attention seekers with too much time on their hands." However, according to Andy Turner, one of the frequent tweeters on the British team, the spat had not damaged morale among the squad.

"We've pretty much ignored it," Turner said, after winning the 110m hurdles yesterday. "It's a clash between two people. We are here to do a job and ignore the other stuff. We are a close-knit team anyway. Nothing like that could affect the team bond.

Van Commenee added: "Team spirit is something we've been working hard on, because it was almost non-existent. We have to protect what we've built, especially in difficult situations. It's not what you want, but it's interesting to find a way out."

Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketing Controller (Financial Services)

£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all