- 06 Feb 2012
- IOC News
IOC Tours London 2012 Football Cities
Last week, a delegation from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) toured the venues outside London that will play host to the London 2012 Olympic football tournament.
The group, led by the IOC’s Coordination Commission Chairman for London 2012, Denis Oswald, and IOC Olympic Games Executive Director Gilbert Felli, was warmly received across the country and was able to witness firsthand the excitement about, and enthusiasm for, the Games throughout the different nations and regions in Great Britain. The tour took in the cities of Coventry, Manchester, Glasgow, Newcastle and Cardiff. The IOC was joined on its visits by London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) CEO Paul Deighton and LOCOG Head of Sport Competition David Luckes.
Stadiums and Passion
The visit to the five venues allowed the delegation to get a feel for the different stadiums that will be used to host the men’s and women’s football tournaments, and to hear from the local organisers, athletes, and civic leaders about the preparations that are being made for the Games in each nation and region. Across the country, the passion for the Games, and for what they are helping to bring to the local area, was obvious, with numerous initiatives being put in place to ensure that the London 2012 Olympics are not just a Games for London, but for the whole of Great Britain. The IOC team was impressed with what it saw and heard, and underlined the important role that each venue plays in the overall success of the 2012 Games.
Olympic Football Tournament
The draw for the 2012 Olympic football tournaments will take place on 24 April this year, once all of the qualifiers for the tournament are known – a playoff match will take place in Coventry on 23 April to determine the final men’s football team to make London 2012. Then the 16 men’s qualifiers and 12 women’s teams will begin the Olympic tournament on 25 July (two days before the Opening Ceremony). This tournament will run until the final of the men’s competition on 11 August. With over 500 athletes competing and a lot of talent in both competitions, spectators will undoubtedly have a fantastic Olympic experience when they watch the 2012 football tournament in some of Great Britain’s best football venues.
Beyond the Stadium
But the Games are touching the different nations and regions not only through the sporting competitions that are taking place, but also through the different programmes that have been implemented to spread the Games’ values across the country and to create lasting legacies. The IOC team saw this firsthand in Coventry, when a local “Inspire” mark girls’ football programme gave a demonstration at the City of Coventry stadium. In addition to the “Inspire” mark programme, there are also the Cultural Olympiad, the Olympic Torch Relay, business contracts for the Games, live sites, volunteer programmes, the “Get Set” education programme, volunteer recruitment, and pre-Games training camps, to name but a few, all of which are being used by local bodies to encourage sport and the promotion of the Olympic values around the country.