Seb Coe criticises Paris Olympic bosses amid £595 ticket furore

Seb Coe criticises Paris Olympic bosses amid £595 ticket furore

Seb Coe has criticised Paris 2024 bosses over the cost of tickets for the Olympics, warning they were pricing out real fans and athletes’ families from going to the Games.

Tickets start from as much as £595 for certain sessions of the athletics at the Stade de France, a price tag the World Athletics president warned Games organisers about.

He said: “We have made the point that the prices are lumpy. It is important that our stadiums are full of people that love our sport, not people that can afford to get to an Olympics.

“These are going to be the most expensive ticket prices in an athletics arena that we have witnessed at an Olympic Games.”

As the architect of London 2012, 25% of the budget for which came from ticket sales, Coe said he had sympathy for the hosts in the French capital 12 years on.

But he added: “I don’t want fans being costed out of the stadium and I certainly don’t want athletes and their families being costed out of the stadium.”

Coe was speaking on the eve of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award where heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson is flying the flag as the sole athletics nomination, with 1500-metre world champion Josh Kerr overlooked.

Former middle-distance runner Coe was critical of the SPOTY panel at the time of the shortlist announcement following Kerr’s shock omission and said Johnson-Thompson would be the most deserving winner despite England goalkeeper Mary Earps being the overwhelming favourite.

He said: “This isn’t being remotely disparaging about anyone else on that list. The issue is that there are two truly global sports: one is football, one is track and field. And both Katarina and Josh Kerr won a world championship in one of the most fiercely competitive sports on the planet.

“Do I think there was room for both of them on that list? Of course I do. There is only Katarina Johnson-Thompson so of course I’m going to say, as the president of World Athletics, I would be voting for her because she’s a world champion and it was an extraordinary comeback.”