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Coe backs West Ham stadium bid

London 2012 bid chief Sebastian Coe believes West Ham should inherit the Olympic Stadium ahead of Premier League rivals Tottenham.

Spurs have tabled a bid which involves transforming the arena into a football-only venue, while West Ham intend to retain the multi-purpose original.

Tottenham have offered to redevelop the ageing Crystal Palace National Sports Centre to compensate for the loss of athletics at the new Stratford site.

But Lord Coe believes the London Olympic committee have a moral obligation to safeguard the future of the venue after their original bid promised to maintain the athletics track at the stadium.

“It’s serious we deliver what we said we were going to unless we’re prepared to trash our reputation,” Coe said.

“It’d be very difficult for us to be taken seriously in the corridors of world sport and arguably beyond.”

“I remember delivering a vision about a generation of young people being inspired to take up Olympic sports, I remember talking about young people in a poor community in East London fashioning their future through sport.”

“I don’t recall a whole heap about bulldozing down a publicly-funded community facility, replacing it with a football club and inspiring a generation of Tottenham season ticket holders, however many there may be on a waiting list.”

“We set up legacy board when we were bidding and there is a viable bid on the table (West Ham’s) which is presenting exactly the case we made.”

“The West Ham bid meets those commitments; I would have to vote for it.”

A decision on the future of the site is expected Friday.

Article title: Coe backs West Ham stadium bid

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