Would be nice to see the Olympics come to Leicester.Villa Park, home of Aston Villa Football Club, has been dropped as one of the venues for the London 2012 football competition, Olympic organisers announced today.
Construction work being planned over the next few years at the Birmingham-based ground means it can no longer "commit fully" to hosting preliminary matches in the Olympic football tournament, said the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (Locog).
Villa Park's withdrawal was a joint decision between Locog and Aston Villa, which now opens up the chance for other Midlands clubs to become London venues, provided they can meet International Olympic Committee rules.
These include that the stadium must be all-seater and have at least 30,000 capacity.
Other football grounds in the region including Coventry City, Birmingham City, Derby County, Leicester City and Nottingham Forest could now be in the running to be an Olympic venue as Locog will seek another Midlands venue.
A Locog spokesman said: "The London 2012 Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games has been working with its selected football venues over the past eight months, progressing and confirming plans across the tournament, and needed firm commitments from all the host stadia.
"It has been agreed with Aston Villa that, because they are unable to make firm commitments to the project, the best course of action is for Villa Park to be withdrawn as an Olympic venue.
"Locog is grateful to Aston Villa for its support to date, and is continuing with its planning in order to deliver a first-class Olympic football tournament. It is looking at options for replacing Villa Park."
Other football grounds hosting the preliminary football rounds are Hampden Park in Glasgow, the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Old Trafford in Manchester, Newcastle's St James' Park and Wembley Stadium.