Inside Lines Exclusive: Edwards lands key boxing job for London Olympics

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The Independent Online

Terry Edwards, the head coach controversially axed after Britain's most successful boxing Olympics in Beijing, is to make a comeback ina key role for 2012. It will be announced this week that he has been appointed technical operations manager for the London Games, with responsibility for overseeing all technical aspects of the boxing tournament and the requirements of competitors, coaches and officials. During his eight years in charge of Britain's boxing squads the former London cabbie masterminded a record number of Olympic, world and European medals, but after Beijing, where Britain won a gold and two bronzes, he was told by the newly constituted GB Boxing that his contract was not being renewed. Since then he has been in involved in coaching schoolkids and as a consultant to the Ghana Boxing Federation. He is currently in Los Angeles, where he has been invited to look at the ailing US amateur set-up. Another invitation has come from Amir Khan, whom he mentored to silver at the 2004 Athens Olympics, to visit him at his LA training camp and attend his title defence against Marcos Maidana in Las Vegas next Saturday. Edwards said last night: "I am thrilled to be involved in my fourth Olympics and honouredto be part of the team delivering the boxing event in 2012." Edwards takes up his new job on 4 January.

Putin the boot in

Hate to say "told you so", but two years ago we predicted in this column that Russia would get the 2018 World Cup. This followed an interview with their sports minister, who knowingly tapped the side of his nose when asked why he was so confident. Vladimir Putin obviously also knew the score, hence his decision not to turn up until after the envelope had been opened. Thus the rascal cunningly kicked the political football out of England's hands. Putin? More like Rasputin. To add to England's embarrassment, the man who ran the PR campaign for the shock 2022 hosts, Qatar, is Brit Mike Lee, a chief spinner for London's Olympics bid but whose services were spurned by the FA, who desperately need someone at the helm to steady their sinking ship. Politically and commercially astute yachtsman Sir Keith Mills, a Tottenham director and oneof the prime architects of London 2012, is looking increasingly like the ideal chairman.

Running for Ron

Looking for a way to get into the London Marathon? The Ron Pickering Memorial Fund, which over the years since the BBC commentator's death in 1991 has contributed £1 million to help young athletes and their coaches, needs a few more runners for next year's event. If you reckon you can raise £1,000 or more then contact Jean Pickering at

Pulling Qatar's strings

Apparently not even Sepp Blatter, knows much about football in Qatar. Asked who his favourite Qatar player was he replied: "Eric Clapton." That's a joke. Just like Fifa. And the FA.