London 2016? ‘Olympics could return to capital in two years’

London has hosted the Olympics in an emergency before, in 1908 when the Games due to be held in Italy

london 2012
The London 2012 Olympic Park Photo: Locog

The Olympic Games could make a sensational return to London in 2016 under informal plans being looked into by the International Olympic Committee, according to reports.

The London Evening Standard claims that the IOC has held secret talks to discuss the possibility of London taking over hosting the event from Rio.

The governing body is understood to be concerned about the lack of progress Rio ahead of the event in two years’ time.

IOC vice-president John Coates recently described Brazil’s preparations as “the worst I’ve experienced”, with just two years to go and a football World Cup to host in between.

A source told the Standard: “At a comparable planning stage in 2004 Athens had done 40 per cent of preparations on infrastructure, stadiums and so on.

“London had done 60 per cent. Brazil has done 10 per cent – and they have just two years left. So the IOC is thinking, ‘What’s our plan B?’

“Obviously, the answer would be to come back to London. It’s very unlikely but it would be the logical thing to do.”

London has hosted the Olympics in an emergency before, in 1908 when the Games were due to be held in Italy, but Mount Vesuvius erupting forced a switch.

However, a spokeswoman for the IOC said the question of the Rio Games being moved to London was a “non-starter and unfeasible”.

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