Snatch squad bid to hijack’ 2012 Bangladesh Olympics squad
A SNATCH squad has been set up to stop the Bangladesh 2012 Olympic team ending up miles from East London where the Games will be staged. The move sparked a row between University of London’s Queen Mary college and a local authority the other side of London
EXCLUSIVE By Hannah Roberts
A SNATCH squad has been set up to stop the Bangladesh 2012 Olympic team ending up miles from East London where the Games will be staged.
The move sparked a row between University of London’s Queen Mary campus in Mile End and a local authority the other side of London.
The East End has Britain’s biggest Bangladeshi community, Queen Mary points out.
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It is also just a two-mile short-distance dash to the stadium now going up at Stratford.
So they were furious that Harrow Council has signed an accord’ to get the Bangladeshi athletes for themselves, following a visit to the leafy suburb by Dhaka officials in November.
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Tower Hamlets councillor Rafiq Ahmed leapt into action to bring the team to their natural home’ in the East End.
“We cannot allow them to go to Harrow,” he told the East London Advertiser.
“Tower Hamlets has the largest number of Bangladeshis in Europe, therefore the strongest link.
“We are also one of the five Olympic host boroughs—Harrow is miles away the other side of town.”
He contacted the Bangladesh Olympic committee and British officials in Dhaka to put on pressure.
It resulted in Bangladesh officials turning up in East London last week to meet him and see the sports and training facilities for themselves at Queen Mary’s and at the new Mile End stadium—and appeared impressed.
The college is offering ensuite accommodation with sports labs and first class equipment.
But competition from Harrow is fierce, as they boast the famous Roger Bannister stadium and the elite Harrow public school.
Harrow was reported this week to be furious when they heard of the secret’ visit to the East End.
The Bangladeshis are all signed up, they insisted. Harrow councillor Chris Mote fumed: “They have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with us—so we’re confident.”
Bangladesh Olympic vice president Mizanur Rahman, who was staying with a cousin in the East End during his visit, was impressed—but had yet to make his mind up between Harrow and Tower Hamlets.