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Riots not affecting Olympic plans - BOA

ESPN staff
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Riots have swept through the capital in recent days © PA Photos
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The British Olympic Association has insisted that the riots that have swept through London in recent days have not impacted on preparations for next year's Olympic Games.

A third night of violence was seen in the capital on Monday and has resulted in Carling Cup games being postponed, while England's friendly with Netherlands on Wednesday is in doubt. The police have been stretched to the limit to cope with the unrest and the prime minister David Cameron will chair an emergency meeting on Tuesday morning in a bid to tackle the issue.

The Olympics are less than a year away and the unrest is a cause of concern, but Darryll Seibel - director of communications at the BOA - is confident the security plan is robust and claims the current issues will have no impact on the preparations.

"No doubt it is not the type of advert we want to see with less than a year to go to the Games, but we need to keep in mind that security during an event like the Olympic Games rests primarily with local authorities," Seibel told Sky Sports News.

"From the day London was awarded the Games, security was a top priority for all the authorities and we have a lot of confidence in the plan that has been developed and ultimately will be implemented.

"If you look back at recent games and the security posture around them, it was much more difficult than what we face in London. Most recently in Vancouver for the Winter Games, that city had a violent crime issue it was grappling with right until the beginning of the Games - much of which was the product of a long-running feud between rival drug gangs.

"Salt Lake City in 2002, the first Winter Games after 9/11, you can imagine what the atmosphere and environment was like.

"This [London] is unfortunate, it is unpleasant and not what anyone would say is acceptable, but to suggest it would in any way impact on the overall approach to the Games - we are nowhere near that discussion now."

Seibel is hopeful that the Games can unite London and become a catalyst for celebration.

He said: "This is a reflection of the world we live in, it is not a reflection of London and regrettably this is a reflection of the world we live in today. And by the way that is what makes events like the Games all the more important.

"We need reasons to come together and celebrate and coexist peacefully and that is why the Games is so important.

"It is the catalyst to unite London and the UK. It is the only city to be honoured to host the Games on three occasions.

"We think London is the ideal backdrop to unite not only London and the UK, but the world as well."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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