BBC BLOGS - David Bond

Archives for November 2011

No question of resigning for resilient Blatter

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David Bond | 19:26 UK time, Friday, 18 November 2011

Sepp Blatter has survived countless crises during his 13 years as Fifa president.

Financial meltdown, court battles with major sponsors, the collapse of marketing partners ISL, World Cup vote controversies and now the corruption scandal involving members of his executive committee.

Throughout them all he has, somehow, managed to hold on and perhaps emerged even stronger inside world football.

Even at the height of the cash for votes affair involving his rival for the Fifa presidency Mohamed Bin Hammam, he never lost his swagger.

Maybe it is the cumulative effect of all this but none of the issues touched on above have - quite rightly - had quite the same impact on the public as his claims that racist incidents on the field of play could be settled with a handshake.

What made it worse was that his attempted clarifications - first on Twitter and then in a written statement and subsequent television interview - only seemed to reinforce that he genuinely believed what he had originally said.

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Security cost is London 2012's biggest unknown

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David Bond | 16:49 UK time, Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The final bill for security during the Olympic Games will probably not be known until long after the flame at Stratford has gone out.

One number we can be certain of is £1.265bn. That is the amount of money spent and budgeted for to secure the London 2012 Games since 2007.

That figure includes:

£475m for policing and wider security, which was reduced from £600m in 2010 following a review by Dame Pauline Neville Jones.

£282m for venue security. This is the element of the budget which is currently subject to a review, more of which in a moment.

£270m for securing the Olympic Park during construction.

£238m for security contingency.

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London hopes for third time lucky

David Bond | 21:18 UK time, Thursday, 10 November 2011

After hosting the 2012 Olympics, the prospect of staging the World Athletics Championships five years later may seem a bit of an anti-climax for London.

But there is a lot at stake when the 27 members of the IAAF council make their decision at the Fairmont Hotel in Monte Carlo on Friday.

First of all there's British sporting pride. After the humiliation of England's defeat in the race to stage the 2018 football World Cup last December, the country has again put a lot on the line to try to secure a major international sports event.

If London loses it would be the third time in a decade that the city has come up short with track and field's blue riband event. The 2005 championships had to be handed back after the Picketts Lock fiasco while a bid for 2015 was dropped because of uncertainty surrounding the legacy plans for the Olympic Stadium.

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Beckham continues to take centre stage

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David Bond | 17:53 UK time, Wednesday, 2 November 2011

David Beckham says he is "not finished yet". But at the age of 36 he knows that his next playing contract could be his last.

Although he has been offered another year with the Los Angeles Galaxy and there is talk of a possible return to the Premier League, it seems that Paris Saint Germain, now owned by Qatar Sports Investments, could be the next stop on his tour of the world's most glamorous cities.

It is remarkable that despite his age and the effects of last year's Achilles injury, the level of interest in Beckham seems undiminshed. It is matched only by his apparent hunger to carry on playing at the highest level possible.

Critics would argue his attempts to string out his playing career are nothing more than a cynical ploy to keep the cash flowing in from his commercial deals.

But having again topped the Forbes footballers' rich list in 2011 with earnings of £24m, he hardly needs the money. So what is driving him to carry on?

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