London's Olympic stadium will not be used in England's bid for the 2018 World Cup, the Government said on Sunday. The 80,000 seater stadium, costing more than 500 million pounds, will be down-sized to 25,000 capacity after the 2012 Games with an athletics legacy left in place. Last month London Mayor Boris Johnson said it would be "foolish" to rule out maintaining the 80,000-seat capacity and that the east London venue could become one of the 16 stadiums in England's World Cup plan. "There is no budget for maintaining an 80,000 stadium between 2012 and 2018," Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell told the BBC on Sunday. "We have been very clear in our commitments to the IOC in our legacy use which will be as a grand prix athletics stadium." With no anchor tenant in place, there have been fears that the Olympic Stadium could become a white elephant once the Games has finished. Interest from football clubs has dwindled as most do not favour an athletics track surrounding the pitch. "There are no negotiations under way with any Premier Legaue football clubs, we are not retro fitting Premier League football into the Olympic Stadium, nor are there plans to host the World Cup," Jowell added. "If we win the World Cup bid we already have Wembley."
12 July 2009
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