27 Jan 2009

Rogge backs London Olympic forecasting

5:42 am on 27 January 2009

The International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge has denied that London 2012 overshot its budget and insists that the scale of the Games should not be rolled back.

Rogge says the London Organising Committee is simply resorting to a reserve fund after planned use of private sector funding for the Olympic village proved to be "difficult".

Asked about the impact of the economic crisis and London 2012's reported money problems, Rogge says the scale shouldn't be reduced, and here again I'd say there is a misunderstanding.... it's not an increase in the budget, it is the use of a reserve fund - which by the way was rather generous, with 2.7 billion pounds.

Even before the financial crisis took hold, there were concerns as to how London could match the success of this year's Olympics in Beijing, where the Chinese government spared no expense in laying on a lavish spectacle.

The London Games are now set to cost more than 24 billion (NZ) dollars as opposed to the 9 billion originally envisaged.