[news] Saddam to bid for Olympics as his people suffer

  • From: "Muslim News" <editor@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <submit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 16 Feb 2002 18:28:03 -0000

Of all Saddam Hussein's secret plans to defeat the Great Satan and
restore Iraq's glory, hosting the 2012 Olympic Games would be the most
devious yet. 

Baghdad confirmed plans yesterday to build a 100,000-seater stadium.
Iraq appears to have stolen a march on Britain, which has not decided
yet whether Wembley Stadium should be rebuilt or even if London should
bid to host the 2012 Games. 

The proposed Baghdad stadium is seen as a clear indication of Iraq's
intention to make a bid, although no official announcement has been
made. The host nation will be named by the International Olympic
Committee in 2005. 

Ignoring his star billing in President George Bush's "axis of evil", it
seems the Iraqi leader is seeking to return to the international fold by
offering an Olympic stadium that meets British standards in toilet
facilities. A design brief for the building states that it must reach UK
specifications for sanitary equipment as well as electrical systems,
fire prevention (useful in bombing raids) and concrete superstructure. 

Doubtless from a wish to keep Washington happy, all materials will also
have to be tested to American standards. The design brief ensures as
well that the best seats in the house are reserved for the dictator.
While hoi polloi will have to put up with plastic, "the seats of the VIP
platform and the first-class seats should be of very good quality". 

Officials have set aside a 1.25m square metre site to build Baghdad's
Olympic Sports City in the hope that the lure of track and field can
overcome Western antipathy. 

The Foreign Office confirmed that changes to the sanctions regime due on
30 May meant British firms would not be barred from bidding for the
project. But government support for the two UK firms understood to have
expressed an initial interest is highly unlikely – export credit
guarantees, in effect public insurance for British companies working
abroad, do not apply to Iraq. 
 
Source:  The Independent 

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