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LA City Council approves contracts with IOC to host 2028 Olympics

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los Angeles, Aug 12: The Los Angeles Council has unanimously voted 12-0 to approve the contracts signed by the city government and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) last week to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2028.

It’s an important move for the second largest city of the United States to lock the award of being host of the 2028 Summer Games, which is scheduled to be announced with 2024 Olympics host city, most probably Paris, together by IOC on September 13 in Peru, reports Xinhua news agency.

In the four-hour and two separate meetings, representatives from Chief Legislative Analyst, City Administrative Officer, and City Attorney report briefly their assessments to the Host City Contract, Memorandum of Understanding and other actions for the 2028 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Meanwhile, about one hundred local residents also shared their comments and recommendations regarding the contracts before vote.

Some residents expressed their concerns about the Games could worsen the traffic problem and housing crisis of the city, But more people believed that LA would benefit from the Olympics, including infrastructure works, education and small business.

The Chairman of City Council Herb J. Wesson Jr voted “yes” to the bill, he twitted after the meeting: “Many have the chance to be a part of history. Few have the opportunity to make it. @LA2028 let’s do this.”

Jenifer Wang, 46, an Angelino born here and married to a Chinese man, told Xinhua that she still remembered that there was a big scare in preparation for the 1984 Olympics that traffic would be horrible, but nothing happened.

“The only real difference I can see for this upcoming 2028 Olympics is that there are more people and less of a community feel here in Los Angeles than there was in the 1980’s,” she said. “I hope traffic won’t be horrible, but it already is so I can’t see it getting better at that point.”

LA is on track to host the Olympics four years later than it originally planned though, members of the city council just received the Fiscal Impact Statement and Community Impact Statement only two days before the votes and they don’t have a revised budget for the 2028 Games on Friday’s meeting.

Council member Mitchell Englander, who joined the vote Friday, noted in a statement sent to Xinhua that in exchange for postponing the Olympics, “among other concessions, the IOC will pay some $160 million to fund youth sports programs in the city.”

Local media reported that the incentive fund of the IOC could total $1.8 to $2 billion.

The endorsement on Friday authorises LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and Council President Herb Wesson to sign a “tripartite” agreement between the cities of Paris and Los Angeles, each nation’s Olympic committee and the IOC, which will ensure the two cities to be awarded the two Games in 2024 and 2028 simultaneously.

It will also authorise Garcetti and Wesson to sign the Host City Contract and provide a written guarantee stating the city will cover any potential financial shortfall incurred by the Olympic organising committee while staging the 2028 Games.

“The City Council goes for the gold! Our LA 2028 Olympic and Paralympic bid receives a unanimous vote of support” LA Mayor Eric Garcetti twitted Friday noon, emphasising 10 minutes later “Our LA 2028 bid a once-in-a generation opportunity to serve and strengthen LA and the Olympic and Paralympic movement.”

In a rare move, the IOC unanimously voted last Month to announce the bid winner of the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games at the same time. That means two competitors for 2024 Olympic, Paris and LA, each at least locked an opportunity.

IOC officials then entered into negotiations with bid leaders from LA and Paris to determine which city will host the games in 2024 and which city must wait until 2028.

Having landed a deal with IOC on July 31 to host 2028 Games, the LA City Council and United States Olympic Committee Board of Directors have to approval it before August 18, then the IOC, LA and Paris will enter a tripartite agreement, clearing the way for IOC Membership to confirm the Olympic Games 2024 to Paris and the Olympic Games 2028 to LA at the next IOC session in Lima.

LA has previously hosted the Summer Games twice The first was in 1932 during the Great Depression. The 1984 Olympics wwere the first of the modern era that didn’t leave behind a large public debt.

(IANS)

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FIFA WC 2018: Brazil edge past brave Costa Rica with last gasp goals

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Sochi, June 23: Philippe Coutinho and Neymar Junior scored late in the second half as Brazil ensured their passage to the second round with a hard-earned 2-0 win over Costa Rica in a Group E clash of the FIFA World Cup here on Friday.

Both Brazilians struck in the second half added time at the Saint Petersburg Stadium to hand the five-time World Cup winners their first victory in the tournament.

Costa Rica managed to hold fast for the full 90 minutes of normal play thanks to a solid display from goalkeeper Keylor Navas but one minute into stoppage time, Barça’s Coutinho rescued Brazil, driving through the defense to attack a loose ball in the penalty area, smashing it home between the legs of the Real Madrid man between the posts.

Then, in the dying embers of stoppage time, of which there were six minutes, Neymar, who was yet to score at the FIFA World Cup in Russia, connected to a simple cross to tap home and seal the game.

At the final whistle, the most expensive player in the world broke into tears of relief in the center of the pitch.

Brazil, one of this year’s favourites to win the trophy, all but secured its place in the knockout stages of the competition, recovering from a 1-1 draw in its opening match against Switzerland, who in turn is to meet with Serbia in the evening kick-off.

Costa Rica put on a tough display in the first half knowing that a loss would essentially resign them to booking an early ticket home, but the players tired towards the end of the 90 minutes and succumbed to the relentless attacking tactics of the Brazilians.

Brazil, who now top the table with 4 points, is set to play Serbia on Jun 27 in its final Group E match.

IANS

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Ahmed Musa double downs Iceland to keep Nigeria’s World Cup dreams alive

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Volgograd (Russia), June 23: Two brilliant strikes by Ahmed Musa propelled Nigeria to a 2-0 win over Iceland in a Group D match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup here on Friday.

Musa (49th, 75th minutes) scored both his goals in the second half as Nigeria revived their chances of advancing to the second round.

The Africans, who had lost 0-2 to Croatia in their campaign opener, now have three points from two matches.

They now face a must win clash against Argentina in their third and last group encounter.

Iceland have two points from as many matches. They had held mighty Argentina 1-1 in their first match.

The result also helps the chances for Lionel Messi’s Argentina to advance, as they can move from bottom of the table into second with a win over Nigeria, so long as Iceland do not beat Croatia by an equal or larger margin.

In the first half of the game, chances were few and far between. While Nigeria dominated possession, Iceland got the better chances to take the lead.

The best of them all was a Gylfi Sigurdsson effort which was tipped over the bar by Nigeria goalkeeper Francis Uzoho.

Nigeria nosed ahead four minutes into the second period when Victor Moses sprinted down the right wing and crossed towards Musa. The Nigerian controlled beautifully, before slamming home to give his side the lead.

Musa could have grabbed a hattrick had his attempt from 20 yards not come off the crossbar.

Musa then sped past Iceland right-back Kari Arnason on the wing to round goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson and score his second of the evening.

Iceland were handed a lifeline when Tyronne Ebuehi was late on a challenge on Alfred Finnbogason, and the referee gave a penalty — though only after reviewing the play on video.

But Sigurdsson sent his shot high over the bar and into the stands after a short run-up and Nigeria held on to take the three points.

IANS

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World Cup: Switzerland beat Serbia 2-1 in Group E tie

Switzerland equalised in the second half, thanks to a superb long range strike by Granit Xhaka (52nd).

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Kaliningrad (Russia), June 23 (IANS) A late goal by Xherdan Shaqiri earned Switzerland 2-1 win over Serbia in a Group E clash of the FIFA World Cup at the Kaliningrad Stadium here.

Aleksandar Mitrovic handed Serbia the lead in the fifth minute during the match on Friday.

Switzerland equalised in the second half, thanks to a superb long range strike by Granit Xhaka (52nd).

Shaqiri (90th) found the winning goal in the final minute of regulation time.

Switzerland now have four points from two matches.

Serbia have three points from two games.

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