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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 May, 2003, 08:41 GMT 09:41 UK
Q&A: London for 2012?
By Gordon Farquhar
BBC sports news correspondent

Is it affordable?

The Government is providing 2.375bn the bulk of which will come from extra lottery sales. Offset against that will be revenues from the event, which would be substantial.

The IOC would provide up to a billion pounds in TV and sponsorship monies.

There's a lack of clarity over the real costs and Conservative MPs want to see a more detailed breakdown of the figures.

Is it winnable?

How long is a piece of string?

It depends on who you're competing against, how strong your bid is, and how convincing your support.

New York and Moscow are the only declared candidates so far, and neither of those are expected to win.

Paris or Madrid are expected to throw their names into the hat, and will be much more dangerous opponents.

The next summer Games after Beijing are likely to go to Europe...

Can the expense be justified?

Yes and no.

It's hard to argue staging an Olympics is more important than the NHS or Education, but that might be missing the point.

If you were to spend a couple of billion pounds promoting grass roots sport, it'd almost certainly have more of an impact on the future of British sport than the knock-on benefits of a London Games.

Sydney's Olympic Stadium
Sydney's Olympic Stadium is now a popular venue
But the government is never going to spend a couple of billion on grass roots sport, so it's an academic question.

Much of the benefit isn't tangible - after all, how do you measure the feel-good factor, national pride and self esteem?

The legacy of the Olympics, in terms of the facilities that remain afterwards for the local community, is high on the government's agenda.

The sports stadia, new accommodation and so on have to be seen as useful, and not a burden, to taxpayers after the event.

What does the IOC think of Britain?

Jacques Rogge says British sports administrators are highly regarded, as are British athletes.

Britain is recognised as the innovator of modern sport.

The mishaps of Picketts Lock and the World Athletics Championships are eclipsed by the international success of Manchester Commonwealth Games, according to Rogge.

It's in the IOC's interests to have strong bids from as may major cities as possible, as competition drives up quality, but Rogge is very encouraging.

Could London do it?

Yes, with the unequivocal backing of the Government, rapid decision-making on improvement to the transport infrastructure and seamless collaboration with the Greater London Authority.

And with a bloody-minded, thick-skinned, tireless and charismatic individual with authority to make the major decisions needed.

Applications on a postcard please...

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