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Mick Dennis Column: Oh no, Olympic bid is still on agenda.

Byline: Mick Dennis

YESTERDAY in the House of Lords, shortly after Baroness Sharples had asked Her Majesty's Government what they are doing to stop the spread of Japanese knotweed, Lord Moynihan rose to his feet (although it was hard to tell).

Lord Moynihan was Sports Minister and plain Colin when Margaret Thatcher was trying to force football fans to carry identity cards. His lack of stature led to him being known as the Miniature of Sport, but let's not be heightist.

The noble Lord drew the attention of the other noble Lords to London's aspirations to host the 2012 Olympic Games. Today it is the turn of ministers to debate London's Olympic bid. I hope they read Oliver Holt's impassioned piece in Mirror Sport yesterday in which he explained how disgusting it is for London to think about an Olympics when most of its denizens think only about whether the traffic will ever move faster than a milk float on its round.

But there were worrying indications earlier this week that some in the Government think a bid might be worthwhile.

They came from our current Sports Minister, Richard Caborn, who, despite what other newspapers say, I can vouch is a decent bloke.

But he has been in Munich, looking at the stadium which was built for the 1972 Olympics and has been Bayern's home ground ever since. Letting a football club use an Olympic stadium is known as an 'exit strategy'. It makes sure that after a Games, the facilities are not left empty and unused, as in Sydney.

Caborn speculated that West Ham or Spurs might like to move to our Olympic Stadium if one is built. So now we know. The lasting legacy of spending pounds 13million on a bid and pounds 5billion on staging the Games would be a new football stadium for a mega-rich Premiership club.

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SHORTFALL: Lord Moynihan
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 19, 2002
Words:316
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