Inside Lines: World Cup blow for Olympic Stadium after Barry Hearn move


The Olympic Stadium is likely to be ruled out as a venue for the Rugby World Cup when the 12 grounds are confirmed this week.

D-Day for the 2015 tournament's chief executive, Debbie Jevans, is Thursday and she had been hoping to announce the inclusion of the stadium, where last summer she helped orchestrate the Olympics as the London 2012 sports director.

But the legal spanner in the works thrown last week by Leyton Orient's chairman, Barry Hearn, in calling for a judicial review of the decision to reject his club's bid for ground-sharing with preferred tenants West Ham will delay the £160 million work to convert the stadium for athletics and both codes of football. Nine of the 12 grounds will be football stadiums, including Wembley, St James' Park, Old Trafford and Elland Road, financial agreement having been reached with the Premier League, Football Association and individual clubs, all of whom will profit from World Cup matches to be played on non-football fixture days in autumn 2015.

Twickenham, the Millennium Stadium and Gloucester's Kingsholm are the only rugby grounds earmarked, to the sport's displeasure. The London Legacy Development Corporation, who own the Olympic Stadium, say they continue to work with Jevans to find a solution over its use, but time is running out.

While publicly upbeat, London's mayor, Boris Johnson, is privately pessimistic about an agreement being reached soon over the stadium's future.

Saints and sinners

After our story about Elmbridge Council in Surrey allowing Chelsea to build an indoor training pitch while rejecting a new archery centre, both on green-belt land, we hear of another council doffing their cap to the god football while blowing the whistle on Olympic legacy.

Sports organisations in Southampton, including an academy where Tom Daley and his 2012 Olympic synchro partner, Pete Waterfield, trained, a gymnastics club which has produced medal-winning athletes over four decades and several school sports projects, have had funding denied. But the Labour-run council have given £17,000 to Premier League club Southampton FC's affiliated Saints Foundation.

Councillor Andrew Pope, who unsuccessfully opposed the move, described it as "a public relations exercise", adding: "It should be the football business and the players who fund the Saints Foundation. We should not have funds taken from true voluntary organisations. We're taking money away from diving when we have got an Olympic silver medallist [Waterfield] living in the city."

The same council have managed to find £27,000 to support a group providing advice for people coming from other EU countries, and £39,000 for another which describes its mission as "communicating the rich and exciting experience of South Asian art to the public". The diving centre had applied for a mere £5,000.

Greece talk Turkey

Hard on the heels of wrestling finding improbable bedfellows in the United States, Russia and Iran to fight the move to drop the sport from the Olympics, and that curious slam-dunk diplomacy between ex-US basketball star Dennis Rodman and North Korea leader Kim Jung-un, comes news of another unlikely alliance.

Greece has pledged support for Istanbul's bid for the 2020 Olympics despite the hostility and four wars with Turkey dating back to 1821, when Greece won independence from the Ottoman empire. Not to mention the still-existing division of Cyprus.

"The ties between Turkey and Greece have been strengthened thanks to the power of the Olympic Movement to build bridges," says Istanbul 2020's bid leader, Hasan Arat. Let's hope their harmony lingers longer than the Pyongchang love-in. Cuddly Kim was so clearly enamoured with oddball Rodman that a week later he is threatening to nuke America.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
Life and Style
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions