Inside Lines: London Games under scrutiny as sport bigwigs come to town

It may not have registered yet, but this year London is to stage the biggest sporting jamboree outside of the Olympics which follow in 2012.

Westminster will be awash with 1,500 of the world's sporting bigwigs from over 100 federations and 60 nations who will gather to give the capital the once-over before the curtain goes up on the Games. Delegates to SportAccord 2011, the annual convention which brings sport and business together, will include the good (Jacques Rogge), the bad (Sepp Blatter) and the ugly (take your pick) of global sport's leadership.

Getting this event for London was one bid Britain actually won last year and from 3-8 April, the Plaza Hotel, where every room is within sight and sound of the world's most famous alarm clock, Big Ben, will see more politicking, and probably frolicking, than the House across the bridge.

"Why Sport Matters" is the theme of the convention which the London mayor, Boris Johnson, reckons will put £3 million into the capital's economy and bring millions more from contracts for new business and potential major events coming to the UK. Recently, while breakfasting with Lord Digby Jones, the former CBI chairman and ex-Minister for Trade who chairs SportAccord 2011, it occurred to us that the Football Association missed a trick in not asking him to run their show.

An Aston Villa fan (though more a Leicester Tigers man), he sees sport as a catalyst for business development and takes a healthily pragmatic view of its globalisation.

"The argument to take the World Cup to Russia and a Grand Prix to India is unanswerable," he says. "The way to kill prejudice isto inform people – and sport is a wonderful way of doing it."

The convention is also seen as a test event for London's Games transport infrastructure. Let's hope Bob Crow and his un-merry men are feeling more benevolent in the New Year than they were in 2010.

Many Davids, no Goliath

Talking of the FA leadership, what is it with them and the name David? David Bernstein is their chairman of choice, succeeding Lord (David) Triesman.

Other supposed contenders were David Dein, David Sheepshanks and David Gill while Sir David Richards continues to exert influence, as once did David Davies. David Cameron and David Beckham spearheaded the failed World Cup bid. So many Davids when surely what the FA need is a Goliath.

Homecoming for Khan

Amir Khan's next fight will be in Britain. Manchester's MEN Arena has been booked for a fourth defence of his WBA light-welterweight title in mid-April with the American Lamont Peterson, winner of all but one of his 30 bouts, the probable opponent.

"We're looking at a few names but Peterson is the most likely" confirms his father Shah. The plan is for Khan to return to Las Vegas, scene of his pulsating win over Marcos Maidana, for a title unification bout in July against the winner the 29 January Timothy Bradley - Devon Alexander WBO/WBC showdown.

Moving up to challenge Floyd Mayweather Jnr is on the back burner until next year – providing the Money Man is still at large after an upcoming trial on serious assault charges.

Khan has reinforced his commitment to Britain by moving into a sumptuous new house in Bolton, which he designed himself. While he laughs off a challenge from unbeaten fellow Brit Kell Brook, Khan, 24, isn't seeing the funny side of drugs smears that have surfaced in the US after the Maidana victory.

The Argentinian's trainer has labelled him a "cheat" and another former opponent, Paulie Malignaggi, and Mayweather's father Floyd Snr have suggested he has used performance-enhancing substances while training in the same Hollywood gym as the similarly accused Manny Pacquiao, which Khan dismisses.

"It's nonsense. I've never tested positive because I've never taken drugs. I don't need to. I'd be too scared. I'm clean – and so is Manny. It's jealousy."

Younger brother Haroon, who won a Commonwealth Games bronze for Pakistan after being overlooked by England, has undergone an operation on shoulder tendons he tore in his quarter-final bout in Delhi. He is now likely to remain amateur until after 2012.

insidelines@independent.co.uk

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
Sport
Twelve of the winning bidders will each host three group matches
football
Life and Style
Jack Cooksey goes for the grand unveiling - moments before dropping his new iPhone 6 on the floor
iphone launch
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Primary Supply Teacher - Loughborough

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Are you a Teacher looking fo...

Primary General Cover Teachers

Negotiable: Randstad Education Leicester: Are you a Newly Qualified Teacher lo...

Part Time Primary Teacher

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Part Time Primary TeacherOur...

Science Technician

£7 - £8 per hour: Randstad Education Cheshire: The Job:School Science Technici...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week