Football vs London 2012
July 27th was supposed to be the day on which the eyes of the world focused solely on London for the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games.
However, it is now a date which much of Asia will have pencilled in their diaries for another reason.
North London football giants Arsenal have agreed to line up against this year’s Premier League leaders Manchester City on the same day at the iconic Birds Nest Stadium in Beijing.
Arsenal’s Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis deems it fitting that ‘two English clubs are playing each other on the opening day of the London 2012 Olympics in the stadium which hosted the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games’.
I’m not sure that International Olympic Committee President Jacque Rogge or Lord of the London rings, Sebastian Coe will feel the same way.
Some will argue that there can be no better way to showcase the best of what Britain has to offer to the world by staging a high-profile football match in a key market on the opening day of the Olympics.
However, with a few million people now set to watch a football friendly rather than the cultural extravaganza designed by Danny Boyle celebrating these ‘Isles of Wonder’, I don’t see how this is the best outcome for brand Britain.