UK Athletics chairman scorns Tottenham's plans for 2012 Olympic Stadium
Ed Warner, chairman of UK Athletics (UKA), has criticized Premier League side Tottenham's plans to alter London's 2012 Olympic Stadium into a football venue.
The north London club has submitted a proposal that would see it transform the Olympic Stadium, which is currently under construction, into an 80,000-capacity football arena in collaboration with Anschutz
Entertainment Group (AEG).
Tottenham's proposal is competing with one submitted by West Ham United and Newham Council, which plans for the stadium to be used as a multi-purpose arena with 60,000 seats to host football, athletics
and live events.
"Tottenham and AEG have made it clear that they will rip up the track and make it a football only venue and that is hugely concerning to me," Warner told BBC Sport of the proposal, to which he is strongly
The chairman added that his country's relationship with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) could be strained if the stadium does
not retain adequate athletics facilities after the 2012 Olympics are held.
"Britain has a history of letting down the IOC and the IAAF in not delivering on promises on athletics. I think it was instrumental in the Games coming here that that promise was made and if Britain reneges
it would be a very sorry state of affairs."
Encourages resubmission from Tottenham and AEG
While strongly in favour of West Ham and Newham's proposal, Warner added that he would welcome a revised proposal from Tottenham and AEG.
"There is an important opportunity here to invest in a whole range of sports to sustain them for the future. West Ham and Newham have shown that they can embrace that opportunity and work with athletics
with a very credible proposal. I would like to see Spurs and AEG come up with something equally exciting."