Page last updated at 02:49 GMT, Friday, 5 September 2008 03:49 UK

Public 'fearing Olympics failure'

A crowd celebrating the Olympic handover to London
The excitement over the 2012 Games has been growing in the UK

Nearly nine out of 10 Britons do not think the government is capable of managing the 2012 Olympics, a survey taken after the Beijing Games suggests.

The biggest concern expressed was over the cost, currently budgeted at 9.3bn.

The survey by Opinium Research found just 12% of the 2,000 people surveyed believe the Games will come in on budget or within 10%.

A government spokesman said people with "experience and expertise" were in place to "deliver a fantastic Games".

The survey suggests Great Britain's most successful Olympic Games in a century has generated an air of excitement about 2012.

Nearly two-thirds feel proud of Britain following the team's performance in Beijing and almost half now feel more excited about hosting the 2012 Games.

However, 60% said that the athletes' performance has not made them feel more confident about the government.

And just 21% think the Olympics will be good for Britain's international reputation - an increase from 15% before the Games.

Sporting revival

Mark Hodson, head of research at Opinium, said: "The Beijing Olympics has ignited people's enthusiasm for 2012, mostly due to the amazing success of our medal-wining athletes.

"However, people continue to have major concerns.

"Nearly a third of Brits still think that the Games will not provide any long-term benefits to the UK, and taxpayers' money spent on the 2012 Olympics would be better spent on other things such as the NHS, transport and infrastructure."

The research also says that the Olympics has inspired one in seven people to take up or revisit a sport.

This is more than double the number of people who were expected to be inspired prior to this summer's Games.

A Department for Culture, Media and Sport spokesman said: "We have in place the experience and expertise - both within government and The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and The Olympic Delivery Authority - to deliver a fantastic Games and long term legacy that will benefit millions of people for decades to come."




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