Fears London Olympics will lead to postponement of SPL games

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by G.A.Ponsonby

A former Sports Minister has claimed that the hosting of Olympic football matches in Glasgow could lead to Scottish Premier League football being delayed.

SNP MSP Stewart Maxwell has written to the Scottish Premier League and British Olympic Association seeking immediate clarity over the prospect that next season’s SPL could be delayed due to Olympic events taking place in Glasgow.

by G.A.Ponsonby

A former Sports Minister has claimed that the hosting of Olympic football matches in Glasgow could lead to Scottish Premier League football being delayed.

SNP MSP Stewart Maxwell has written to the Scottish Premier League and British Olympic Association seeking immediate clarity over the prospect that next season’s SPL could be delayed due to Olympic events taking place in Glasgow.

With the football season kicking off at the weekend, Mr Maxwell has raised the issue as a matter of importance with the SPL and the Olympic Authority.

Commenting, Mr Maxwell said:

“Supporters of all clubs were excited and ambitious over the weekend as the new football season got underway and excitement is also building ahead of the Olympics next year, but questions still remain on what will happen when the two clash in 2012.

“Despite this issue being raised several months ago supporters are still unclear as to what effect Olympic competition will have on their clubs and the British Olympic Association need to clarify immediately what their position is on other sporting events taking place during the period of the 2012 Olympics.“

The Olympic Charter stipulates that no other major sporting events may take place in any city hosting an Olympic event for the period of the games.  As Hampden Park is to host 8 Olympic football matches (5 women’s and 3 men’s), this would mean that all other major sporting events are forbidden within the city from July 25th to August 12th.

The SPL season traditionally starts within those dates and Champion’s and Europa league qualifying would also be underway.  If either half of the Old Firm were to compete in these qualifiers they may have to move their home ties outside of Glasgow.

“I have written to both the SPL and the BOA seeking immediate clarity, and will also be raising the issue with UEFA as this stipulation in the Olympic Charter could seriously impact on Scottish participation in continental competition next year.

He added:

“All football fans will welcome the Olympic events at Hampden and many may have tickets.  The Olympic Games will be welcomed to Scotland but the impact on the domestic football season and Scottish team’s participation in Europe must be made clear.”

It is not just Scotland that could be affected.  With Olympic events to also take place in Manchester, Newcastle, Cardiff and of course London, football clubs in these respective cities could also be affected. The Community Shield which is usually held at the start of August at Wembley may also have to be cancelled or postponed.

 

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