Inside Lines: Feud for thought as sport's bigwigs gather in London

Click to follow
The Independent Online

When the high and mighty of world sport gather in London this week for the global convention Sport Accord, the talk of the town is certain to be the lack of accord between the warring lords of the Olympic rings, Coe and Moynihan, with their increasingly acrimonious dispute over the distribution of any 2012 profit now unlikely to be settled before the autumn.

The running battle has angered IOC president Jacques Rogge. He has ruled in favour of Locog chairman Coe, who says the situation is "spurious and depressing" but British Olympic Association chief Moynihan seems to have won the backing of senior Olympians in taking the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

I may be in a media minority but I think he has a case in wanting to secure a future legacy for the BOA in preparing British competitors for the Games beyond 2012. But I concur with the sports minister Hugh Robertson who says: "I don't like watching two people I admire enormously fight it out like this."

The build-up to 2012 had seemed a walk in the Olympic Park until this aggro blew up, and allied to the ongoing stadium row featuring Spurs and Orient, there will be some embarrassment that Sport Accord's 1,500 delegates will be chewing the fat with such friction in the air. What a pity that these spats overshadow the admirable progress Coe and co have made with 481 days to go.

When Boris meets Blatter...

We are promised that the London mayor Boris Johnson will provide "a unique take on why sport matters" in his welcome address at Sport Accord. But will his welcome extend to glad-handing it with Sepp Blatter after putting the block on the Fifa president and his henchmen staying in £1,000-a-night suites at the Dorchester during the Olympics as a reprisal for England's World Cup bid defeat?

Bojo is unlikely to be as hospitable as new FA chairman David Bernstein, who is hosting slippery Sepp to lunch tomorrow.

Not quite the ticket

Amir Khan flies back from the Philippines this weekend to do some much-needed drum-beating for his scheduled WBA light-welterweight title defence against unbeaten Euro champion Paul McCloskey in Manchester on 16 April.

A decent scrap, but not the most auspicious date to sell tickets for the MEN Arena.

Fans of United and City are heading south for their Wembley FA Cup semi-final that day so Manchester will be a sporting ghost town. We also hear Sky, due to show the fight on Box Office, want a stronger undercard.

Payback time for BABA

A good week for the new British Amateur Boxing Association, nominated for sport's governing body of the year in next month's Sports Industry Awards.

They also reached a five-figure out-of-court settlement with ex-amateur star Ronnie Heffron for partial repayment of the public money they had invested in preparing him for potential Olympic selection, thus establishing the principle of seeking reimbursement should any of their 2012 squad turn pro, as Heffron has.

Not such a good week for international governing body AIBA, with prestigious management group IMG withdrawing as a major backer of the innovative World Series.