Government denies free Dorchester rooms offer for Fifa

The Dorchester The culture secretary said Fifa would always have paid for the rooms

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The government has said it would never have paid for Fifa executives to stay at London's Dorchester Hotel during the 2012 Olympics.

It was thought the offer of free rooms had been rescinded following Fifa's decision to let Russia host the 2018 World Cup, for which England had bid.

Fifa requested the rooms from London 2012, which says it has still not decided on its allocation.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Fifa would always have paid for the rooms.

He told BBC Five Live: "We never said we would pay for suites at the Dorchester. They would pay for it themselves.

"They wanted an allocation of hotel rooms and they requested the Dorchester for 2012 because they are blocked booked by the London organising committee."

'Choose wisely'

London Mayor Boris Johnson is understood to have discussed the issue with the London Organising Committee chairman Sebastian Coe.

A spokesperson for the mayor said: "The London Organising Committee for the 2012 Games are responsible for their official hospitality programme.

"The mayor is confident they will choose wisely when allocating their accommodation."

A London 2012 spokesman said international federations such as Fifa have requested hotel rooms which they pay for.

The spokesman said: "We are currently working out room allocations and availability.

"All rooms are paid for by the occupants, not by the organising committee."

In the aftermath of the 2018 World Cup bid defeat, Mr Johnson, who travelled to Zurich to personally lobby Fifa's executives, said the result was a "big blow and tremendously disappointing".

He added: "We put together a cracking bid, our technical specification was top-notch and our stadiums would have been packed to the rafters."

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