London

London 2012 Olympics 'could delay football season'

2012 Olympic Park site
Image caption The Games will run from 27 July to 12 August

The start of the English football season could be put back so it does not clash with the London 2012 Olympics.

When London won the right to host the Games in July 2005 it had to agree there would not be clashes with other major sporting events.

London 2012 chief executive Paul Deighton said talks were ongoing to ensure this obligation was met.

A Premier League spokesman confirmed it was in discussions but said that "nothing definitive" had been decided.

Mr Deighton was speaking on the last of a three-day visit by International Olympic Committee (IOC) inspectors to the city.

He said: "I can confirm that we have been in discussion with all the sports bodies responsible for schedules in the UK in 2012 and we are on track to meet that obligation."

Test events

The Community Shield and the start of the Premier League and Football League seasons usually take place in August.

The Community Shield is played at Wembley which will be an Olympic venue.

Image caption Wembley hosts the Community Shield but will be being used for the Olympics

When asked if he was confident the Premier League's start could be put back, Mr Deighton said "Yes".

During the IOC's latest visit to check on preparations for the Games the delegation met Prime Minister David Cameron for the first time.

They were told the £27m in cuts to the Olympic Delivery Authority, the body in charge of Olympic building projects, demanded by the government would not damage the project.

Denis Oswald, chair of the IOC's co-ordination commission, said: "We were reassured by the chancellor and prime minister that this reduction would not affect the core of the Games."

The IOC inspectors also visited the Olympic Park in Stratford, east London, where more than 65% of the work is completed.

Mr Oswald said overall it had been "three very productive days".

He said that London 2012 was now heading into a "crucial period" to the start of the Games in just over two years during which test events would be undertaken.

The Games will run from July 27 to August 12.

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