Levy hits out at Coe in stadium row

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Football News

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has criticised Lord Coe's use of emotional rhetoric after the 2012 Olympic Games bid chairman warned Britain's international reputation would be "trashed" if Spurs succeeded in their campaign to move into the Olympic Stadium.

Coe believes his pledge to the International Olympic Committee in Singapore in 2005, when London was chosen as hosts of the 2012 Games, to ensure a multi-sport legacy at the stadium in Stratford, east London, would not be met by Spurs' proposals.

Levy said: "Strip out the emotion, take a step back and ask what's best for athletics - it's surely to have a dedicated facility that's available all year round rather than 20 days a year."

Tottenham, who should find out on Friday whether they or West Ham are the Olympic Park Legacy Company's preferred bidder for the right to occupy the stadium after the Games, intend to rebuild the ground as a football-only venue while redeveloping the athletics stadium at Crystal Palace in south London.

Spurs chief Levy believes what his club proposes would "over-deliver" on Coe's 2005 pledge to IOC delegates, but the double Olympic champion vehemently disagrees.

Levy continued: "There are all these emotive words being used. Let's deal with fact rather than emotion. This word 'promise' that has been used is such an emotive word."

"Surely it's a far better legacy for London as a whole if you have a world-class stadium for multi-use within the Olympic Park that is full throughout the year and a dedicated athletics venue in south London.

"I'd don't buy the argument of having somewhere to take your grandchild to reminisce on London 2012, what I buy is a dedicated facility which will always be the home of athletics.

"The OPLC and the Government are looking for something that is sustainable and viable over the long term. As a long-term viable solution, soccer and athletics just don't work together.

"What we're offering is a dedicated 25,000-seater facility for athletics at its original home, with a roof and the ability to be expanded up to 40,000 to hold a World Championships. In terms of assets, we are absolutely over-delivering on the original proposal."

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