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Everything posted by arwebb

  1. With no need to build new venues, I don't see why London would turn down the chance to host an event like the Commonwealth Games if it was offered as the emergency host of last resort, as I think we're envisaging may be necessary. In theory, at least, it should be an economic win on the grounds of promoting visitor spending without high pre-event constructions costs and a potential political win if the pre-pandemic idea of bidding to host the Olympics again around 2036 actually had any substance to it. My concern, though, is that going to a city like London in an emergency will not solve the core problem. The Commonwealth Games are not on the same scale as the Olympics and never will be. The CGF has to understand that and reform its hosting criteria so that it can go more easily to cities, and indeed regions, for whom it would be like an Olympics. The challenge is simple - adapt or die.
  2. I didn't say it should have been a penalty. I said it looked more like a penalty than the one we were given. They're both the type that you're screaming for if it's for you, but absolutely furious if they're given against you. I wouldn't have put either of them in the 'should' category. Not that it matters now, of course, because the best team in the tournament won it in the end.
  3. Personally, I thought the one in normal time was more of a penalty. But, rather like umpire's call in cricket, there didn't look to be anything that could clearly overturn the on-field decision for the one in extra time. In many ways, Wednesday night was horrible. Having seen England lose the three major semi-finals they have contested in my lifetime, I was not at all confident, particularly considering Denmark beat us at Wembley last year and the momentum they clearly had after such a terrible start to the tournament. On the balance of the play, England probably did deserve to win the game. But we've felt like that in major championships many times before when it hasn't gone our way, so I wasn't prepared to take anything for granted. I hope we win tomorrow, though I don't expect us to. For me, Italy have been the best team in this tournament on the field. But, in many ways, we've already won. This squad has achieved something that you have to be at least 60 years old to remember when it last happened - getting England to a major final. And in doing that, they have shown that better is possible, not just in football, but in life. At a time when my country is being governed by such a despicable bunch of political pipsqueaks, this squad, and their manager, represent everything that I want this country to be.
  4. I expect to be significantly more nervous on Wednesday night than I was for long periods this evening.
  5. I'm not sure the IOC necessarily needs to announce a postponement today. But with the dripfeed of sports bodies calling for a postponement and nations, including Britain, now indicating an unwillingness to send teams to Tokyo in July, there is a risk that the IOC will be perceived as being forced into an action that it could and should have been prepared for earlier. Either way, I would be amazed if there isn't a postponement announcement at some stage this week.
  6. If this is true, a postponement is surely looking increasingly inevitable. World Athletics call on IOC to postpone Tokyo 2020 because of coronavirus crisis
  7. I saw those quotes this afternoon. While I understand Bach's reluctance to contemplate cancelling the Games, I'm afraid that notions of fairness have gone out of the window right now. My family had been due to go to the Isle of Man in June for the annual TT motorcycle racing event. As well as being something that is a huge passion of my mother, it would have been an emotional journey for all of us as we were taking her there for the first time since we lost my father last year. Sadly, those plans have been scrapped after the TT was cancelled by the Isle of Man's government on Monday. But, as much as it's a bitter disappointment to us, we understand the reasons behind it and we are thankful that the authorities on the island took a clear decision early so we know what we're doing. The IOC's public stance is not just illogical in my view. It is irresponsible and the sooner they recognise that, the better.
  8. While I agree it's probably not the greatest concern at the moment, I don't see how a whole new qualification process could take place. The only precedent for a scenario like this is the Ryder Cup in golf which was postponed for a year in the wake of 9/11 with the original teams playing on the new dates.
  9. Exactly. It is surely only a matter of time before the IOC and the Japanese authorities bow to what appears to be the inevitable. We now have athletes saying it is "impossible" for them to prepare properly for the Games. I simply cannot see an alternative to delay.
  10. Personally, I think they need to be working on contingency plans now and I would be alarmed if they are not. Would November give enough breathing space?
  11. Is this the first sign of internal IOC dissent against the business as usual mantra? Coronavirus: Tokyo Olympic Games plans 'irresponsible', says IOC member In one way, the determination of the IOC hierarchy and the Japanese authorities to proceed as planned is admirable. But, whether they like it or not, they are not in control of events. The virus is and we simply do not know how much worse this crisis is going to get over the coming weeks and months. At this moment, it is inconceivable to me that the Olympics can go ahead as planned. World sport has shut down to an extent unprecedented in peacetime and we have no idea when anything resembling normality is likely to be restored. Surely it would be more sensible to take a pragmatic view now, as so many other organisations have done than to carry on regardless.
  12. At the moment, I think the situation is changing so much day by day that we simply can't tell where we're going to be by mid-July. I wasn't planning to go to Tokyo this year (Paris 2024 is more likely), but there are a number of events I'm planning to attend within the UK over the coming months and I don't think any of us can be confident that the events we want to attend won't be disrupted.
  13. Given that the 2024-28 decision came at the moment of what would have been expected to be the 2024 election, that suggests the IOC has got three years before it needs to make a final call on 2030 and/or 2034. We're probably best to see the Paris-Los Angeles approach as the option up the IOC's sleeve, to be used if necessary. But the key point in its favour for the IOC is that it does buy them time for the prevailing atmosphere to change.
  14. Although I've been, to put it mildly, somewhat out of the loop in relation to this forum in recent times, I have been studying and thinking about the broader issues that sporting bodies face in relation to their bidding processes. As I see it, we are dealing with a new reality. The days of there being multiple first-rank global cities or nations being willing to bid for the Olympics are, for the moment at least, over. Not only that, but it is now far easier to mobilise mass popular opposition to a bid (as the examples we all know about have demonstrated) and there is less willingness to accept these events, at least in the bidding stage, as the universally beneficial things that their proposers might wish them to be seen as. This isn't a new problem, of course, but I do think it would be unwise for us to completely dismiss the Paris-Los Angeles scenario as a one-off. The rather hand to mouth existence of the Commonwealth Games at the moment is perhaps the best demonstration of the prudence of that move.
  15. In all seriousness, the IOC could do a lot worse than look at maintaining Athens as a venue to return to every few Games. A bit like St Andrews and the Open golf championship.
  16. Quite possibly. But I think we would be unwise to say the kind of campaigns that grew in Boston or Calgary couldn't grow around London too. People would doubtless be reminded of what the costs were initially meant to be and what they became and it is now far, far easier to get alternative messages out there, as we know.
  17. In general terms, I think regional bids are something that ought to be explored. But I cannot, and do not, trust Johnson one iota. He may talk the talk about "levelling up", in which case a Manchester-Liverpool bid could become a reality but there is no evidence of walking the walk. I fear a lot of people across our country are going to be bitterly, bitterly disappointed by him over the coming years.
  18. As someone who was lucky enough to be in London for part of those magical few weeks in 2012, the idea of it happening again in my lifetime, let alone as soon as 2036, seems far too good to be true. Yes, we're probably in a stronger position technically, given the venues that are already in place and would only need some upgrading rather than major construction. I do wonder, though, whether it would command the kind of public support that the 2012 bid did. I haven't been following developments in the field that closely of late, for various reasons, but I don't particularly sense any groundswell behind Birmingham 2022 (albeit that's not as big an event as the Olympics, of course). My concern, at least from the perspective of a fan, is that a bid for a fourth London Olympics might be susceptible to the kinds of campaigns that have weakened several other bids in other parts of the world in recent times.
  19. South Africa or Australia, I would think. Probably the former, particularly given what happened with 2023.
  20. Johnson is not a lame duck. His strategy is clear - prepare the ground for a general election this autumn in which he will claim that a vote for him is a vote to uphold democracy (i.e. the 2016 referendum result) and to deliver the kind of Brexit he now appears to want. No-one can be certain what the outcome of that election will be. But it is clear that, barring either immoral or unlawful actions, going to the country is the only way he can get it through.
  21. It should look and sound as good as it does given the money that's reported to have been spent on it. Maybe it's just me but I really can't get very excited about the idea of another English World Cup bid at this stage. Partly that's because of the 2018 process and a lack of trust in FIFA that I think you'll find still exists for many English football fans. But it's also because of a feeling that actually we could offer a better package with a British bid.
  22. I'm not one of the 17.4 million who voted Leave, but I feel a deep sense of anger tonight after the latest attempt to end the Brexit deadlock ended in failure. Whatever side of the divide I and my fellow citizens were on almost three years ago, none of us voted for this shambles. Perhaps, therefore, it was appropriate that the latest chapter in the saga should be written on April Fools' Day.
  23. Have we all lost the will to live with this yet?
  24. There is little any of us can say that can offer any form of comfort to those who have been affected by this hideous atrocity. What shocked me most when I heard the news this morning, though, was that such an outrage had occurred in perhaps the last country on Earth that you would expect something like this to happen in.
  25. And given that May's plan B looks remarkably similar to her plan A, we're not really much further forward.
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