By Andrew Warshaw in Durban

seb_coe_07-07-11July 7 - London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe today fiercely defended the Olympic host city's record over tickets and transport as the clock ticked towards July 27 - a year to the day before next summer's Games open.

In a progress report to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at its Session here, Coe said there had been "phenomenal and unprecedented" demand for tickets and even asked IOC members to return any unwanted ones to help accommodate the huge take-up.

"Both domestically and internationally the demand for tickets has been phenomenal - I would actually say it has been unprecedented," said Coe.

"1.9 million people applied for 22 million tickets - we have 6.6 million to distribute.

"We have already sold out in 23 out of 26 sports - that's an extraordinary vote of confidence in Olympic sport not just in Britain but around the globe.

"We promised full venues and affordable prices.

"There has been disappointment - with that level of demand it is inevitable.

"My message is very clear: if you have tickets you have not yet sold then please send them back to us.

"I know people who would like them."

Denis Oswald, chairman of the IOC's Coordination Commission, spoke of the "challenge" of London's notoriously poor public transport network.

But Coe denied there would be transport chaos, whether on the roads caused by lanes reserved for Olympic traffic, or on the antiquated but soon to be upgraded underground network.

"Any talk of transport arrangements being chaotic or widespread disruption over 100 days is very wide of the mark," he said.

"Let me will bust another myth: taxis and public buses will use the majority of the Olympic route network.

"We will ensure that London keeps working."

Coe was accompanied by Sports and Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson who said the Government would deliver "a safe and secure Games".

Robertson said the construction project was now 88 per cent complete allowing London to switch their attention to testing and readiness "at a much earlier stage".

Despite a torrent of criticism about ticket pricing and availability, IOC President Jacques Rogge made a point of singling out London for praise.

"The nuts and bolts are in place and I have no doubt the operational issues will be delivered in due time," he said.

"We are thrilled by the success of the sale of tickets.

"To have two million people requesting 22 million is something unheard of."

Later, Robertson revealed during a briefing that more electricity would have to be pumped in to prevent potential blackouts during the Games, while Coe revealed it was only a matter of time before football, one of the few sports that had not sold out, soon would despite the persistent reluctance of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to take part.

"There are a number of factors, not least because it is a long tournament," he said.

"Also, we don't yet know all the teams."

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