Coe disappointed by England football coverage

08 September 2012 01:17

London 2012 chief Sebastian Coe on Saturday called for more sustained exposure to Olympic and Paralympic sports between now and the next Games in 2016, hitting out at the dominance of football.

The former two-time Olympic 1,500m champion praised media coverage of both Games in the British capital, particularly the Paralympics, which has been covered almost to the same extent by domestic newspapers and broadcasters.

But he said he was concerned that football once again dominated the headlines on the eve of the final day of competition at the Paralympics, after England beat Moldova 5-0 in their first 2014 World Cup qualifier in Chisinau on Friday.

On media coverage for Paralympic sport, Coe told a news conference: "We have moved this on. We could not have done more and we will go on to do whatever we can to go on showing people that Paralympic sport is extraordinary sport.

"We have done it through our education programmes and the extraordinary commitment of our partners and we have worked hard on it.

"But the speed with which we reverted to back page leads for England-Moldova last night, it happened too quickly. (it) is maybe not a good sign."

This year's Paralympics, involving a record 4,200 athletes from 165 countries, have been the biggest and most high-profile in the Games' 52-year history, with many athletes enjoying greater funding and sponsorship than ever before.

Host broadcaster Channel 4 said that 11.4 million people in Britain watched the opening ceremony on August 29, while 6.3 million people tuned in to see Britain's Jonnie Peacock take Oscar Pistorius' 100m crown on Thursday.

At the Olympics, 26.9 million people in Britain watched the opening ceremony on August 27, compared with 5.5 million for Beijing in 2008 and the previous high of 11 million for the curtain-raiser at Barcelona in 1992, the BBC said.

A domestic television audience of 19.4 million watched Jamaica's Usain Bolt retain his 100m title on August 5, the corporation added.

Source: AFP