The International Olympic Committee
12-member evaluation commission has reserved its biggest ticks to host
the 2012 summer games for Paris and London.

The commission’s
123-page report, which rates the rival bidding cities’ strengths and
weaknesses, released overnight in Lausanne, will be influential in
helping IOC delegates determine the winning host city from the five
competing bids that also include New York, Moscow and Madrid. That vote
will be in Singapore on 6 July. The IOC’s evaluation of the five cities
is here.

York and Madrid were felt to have made “high quality” presentations,
and Moscow is clearly now out of the running when it was considered to
be lacking in detailed planning. However, the report singled out Paris
and London for special praise as bids of “very high quality.”

York was always going to be battling to get the nod bearing in mind
there’s still political squabbling surrounding the city’s own
infrastructure (including the building of its new Olympic Stadium), and
the US hosted the games as recently as 1996.

I have seen a
30-minute video of London’s presentation and it’s very good, but it
faces a Paris hosting that is already a hot favourite.

there are some reservations regarding London’s future transport
development being delivered, the commission agreed the city’s budget
was “well-supported and achievable” and “indicated a high level of
planning.” Paris scored big on accommodation and its high quality
transport system and “achievable” budget.

Now comes the prospect
of Tony Blair and Jacques Chirac fighting their own private war in the
next 30 days to get out the vote for their respective countries/city