COLONEL GADDAFI will be banned from the London Olympics, despite fears the Libyan dictator would attend as his son is in charge of handing out Libya’s allocation of tickets.
“Gaddafi, his son and key figures in the current Libyan Government are banned from entering the EU and will not be coming to the Olympic Games,” said a UK government spokesperson today.
Earlier reports suggested there was little the UK could do to stop Gaddafi coming to London next year, as the International Olympic Committee operates a strict non-political policy when it comes to tickets. Every country in the world is allowed to claim an allocation based on its population.
Libya has been allocated 320 tickets a day to be handed out by its National Olympic Committee, which is headed by none other than the Colonel’s son, also called Muhammad.
“There is consternation about the fact that country teams are entitled to invite their heads of state, meaning that Gaddafi, who we are desperately trying to bomb into oblivion, could try to disrupt the Games,” a government source told the Telegraph last night.
But today, Westminster nerves were a little less shredded as it emerged that, although Libya has been allocated the tickets, no tickets have yet been sent to Tripoli.
“To be absolutely clear, no tickets have been printed or paid for,” said the IOC’s Mark Adams.
Instead, the new worry is that Gaddafi and son could use their allocation of Olympic tickets to sell on the open market and make hundreds of thousands of pounds with which to prop up their regime.
“Until we can be absolutely certain that the tickets can be used correctly,” the IOC will operate a “wait and see policy”, added Adams.