Olympic organizers, IOC in conflict over who pays for postponement

An open conflict broke out Tuesday between Tokyo Olympic organizers and the IOC over who will pay for the unprecedented year-long postponement. (Files/AFP)
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Updated 22 April 2020
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Olympic organizers, IOC in conflict over who pays for postponement

  • Japan is spending $12.6 billion for the Olympics, but audit report says it’s twice that much

TOKYO: An open conflict broke out Tuesday between Tokyo Olympic organizers and the IOC over who will pay for the unprecedented year-long postponement.
Tokyo spokesman Masa Takaya said the organizing committee has asked the Switzerland-based International Olympic Committee to remove a comment from its website suggesting that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had agreed that Japan would shoulder most of the postponement costs.
Media reports in Japan estimate the year-long delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic will cost $2 billion to $6 billion. Neither side has given an official estimate, but Tokyo CEO Toshiro Muto has called the postponement costs “massive.”
“It's not appropriate for the prime minister’s name to be quoted in this manner," Takaya said on a 90-minute teleconference.
Almost all of the questions, mostly from Japanese reporters, centered on the IOC's statement and the costs for Japan.
The IOC statement, on a page titled “Frequently Asked Questions about Olympic Games Tokyo 2020,” said Abe had agreed that Japan “will continue to cover the costs it would have done under the terms of the existing agreement for 2020, and the IOC will continue to be responsible for its share of the costs."
Without using Abe's name, IOC President Thomas Bach said almost exactly the same thing 10 days ago in an interview with the German newspaper Die Welt on Sunday.
Abe’s spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, also challenged the IOC and said Tuesday there "is no such agreement related to additional cost stemming from the postponement.”
Despite the conflict, there is not much debate about who will pay; it's the Japanese side, but it's also a sensitive subject, particularly for Abe during an economic downturn brought on by the spreading virus.
Japan is officially spending $12.6 billion to organize the Olympics, but a government audit report says it is at least twice that much.

BACKGROUND

Under the terms of the Host City Contract signed in 2013 when Tokyo was awarded the Games, the city of Tokyo, the Japanese Olympic Committee and local organizers are obligated to pay most of the costs of the Tokyo Games.

It is  all public money except for $5.6 billion from a privately funded organizing committee budget.
Under the terms of the Host City Contract signed in 2013 when Tokyo was awarded the Games, the city of Tokyo, the Japanese Olympic Committee and local organizers are obligated to pay most of the costs of the Tokyo Games.
Section 68 of the contract reads: “Unless expressly stipulated otherwise in this contract, all obligations of the city, the NOC and/or the OCOG pursuant to this contract, shall be at their expense.”
John Coates of Australia, an IOC member who oversees Tokyo preparations, said in a conference call last week with Tokyo organizers that the postponement would cost the IOC “several hundred million dollars.” Bach had said the same thing to the German newspaper.
Coates made it clear the IOC's payments would go to struggling national Olympic committees and international federations — and not to Tokyo.
One of Coates' solutions to help Tokyo was to cut frills from the program.
According to organizing committee documents, the IOC has already contributed about $1.3 billion to organize the Tokyo Olympics. This is from income of $5.7 billion in the latest four-year Olympic cycle.
Japan, with a $5 trillion GDP, obviously has more resources.
Takaya also repeated there is no “Plan B” despite concerns by some scientists that the pandemic will not allow the Olympics to open in 15 months — July 23, 2021.
“We are not commenting on speculation,” Takaya said. "The new dates are already set. It is set for next summer, the summer of 2021. The Tokyo 2020 organizing committee and all stakeholders are now dedicating themsleves to this new date.”


Pandya fitness issues cost him India T20 captaincy—selector

Updated 22 July 2024
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Pandya fitness issues cost him India T20 captaincy—selector

  • Explosive Indian batter Suryakumar Yadav was named skipper for India’s T20 format for Sri Lanka tour 
  • Pandya, who was vice-captain during last month’s T20 World Cup, has suffered from fitness problems 

Mumbai: Hardik Pandya lost out on India’s T20 captaincy to Suryakumar Yadav because of concerns over his availability after frequent injury absences, India’s chief selector Ajit Agarkar said Monday.
Explosive middle-order batsman Suryakumar, 33, was last week named Rohit Sharma’s successor in the T20 format for India’s white-ball tour of Sri Lanka, which begins Saturday.
All-rounder Pandya, 30, was Rohit’s deputy during India’s T20 World Cup triumph last month but he has suffered from fitness problems and missed the 50-over World Cup last year with an ankle injury.
“Fitness has been something that he’s struggled with,” Agarkar told reporters in Mumbai alongside new coach Gautam Gambhir.
“As selectors, it becomes difficult then. The thought behind it was that we want someone who is likely to be available more.”
India begin their Sri Lanka trip with the first of three Twenty20 internationals on Saturday and Pandya has reportedly opted out of the three subsequent one-day internationals.
He was “still a very important player,” Agarkar said. “And that’s what we want him to be, those skill sets are hard to find.”
Agarkar praised Suryakumar’s captaincy credentials.
“He is one of the best T20 batters in the world,” said Agarkar.
“We feel that Surya has all the necessary qualities to be a good captain.
“We wanted a captain, who is likely to play all the games.”
Suryakumar would remain solely a T20 player, said Agarkar. Rohit has retained the 50-over captaincy.
Gambhir explained his coaching philosophy, speaking to reporters for the first time since succeeding Rahul Dravid.
“I think it is important to give players the freedom, that’s what I believe in,” he said.
“The best relationship is built on trust. I can promise that the most important thing is that they will always have my back.”
Rohit, 37, and Virat Kohli, 35, both quit T20 internationals after the World Cup.
Gambhir, a former India teammate of both Kohli and Rohit, expects the veteran pair to remain key figures in the Test and 50-over teams.
“Both those guys have a lot of cricket left in them,” Gambhir said, adding he hoped they are motivated to feature in the 2024/25 tour to Australia and next year’s 50-over Champions Trophy.
Retirement is “a very personal decision” he added.
 


Former Tottenham boss Redknapp joins forces with UAE-based ‘Green Goals’ campaign

Updated 22 July 2024
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Former Tottenham boss Redknapp joins forces with UAE-based ‘Green Goals’ campaign

  • The initiative by company Fuelre4m looks to harness the power of football to drive sustainability and environmental change

DUBAI: UAE-based clean-fuel technology firm Fuelre4m have announced a partnership with Harry Redknapp — former Tottenham, Portsmouth and West Ham football manager — as part of their “Green Goals” campaign.

The initiative aims to utilize former football stars to raise awareness and action for sustainability.

“With the global football industry emitting over 30 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, more top players need to join in to make a bigger impact,” Redknapp said recently.

“Football’s carbon footprint is massive, and players do have a responsibility to help. They can do more by getting involved in green campaigns, pushing for eco-friendly stadiums and clubs, and using social media to spread awareness and influence fans.”

“Football has the power to inspire millions,” he added. “If we can use that influence to promote sustainability, we can make a real difference. That’s why I’m excited to be part of Fuelre4m’s ‘Green Goals’ campaign.”

Rob Mortimer, managing director of Fuelre4m, highlighted the significance of Redknapp’s support.

“Having Harry Redknapp on board is a game-changer. His influence in the football world is immense, and his support for our campaign underscores the importance of sustainability in sports,” he said.

“Harry’s involvement will undoubtedly motivate players and fans to take action, amplifying our efforts to reduce the environmental impact of fossil fuels.”

FuelRe4m has developed a fuel-reforming technology that enhances the combustion process in engines, the company stated.

By breaking down impurities and complex hydrocarbons in liquid fossil fuels, the Re4mx technology is aimed at ensuring a more efficient and cleaner burn.

This results in increased power output, lower fuel consumption, and a significant reduction in harmful emissions.


Neymar revels in Esports World Cup action in Riyadh

Updated 22 July 2024
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Neymar revels in Esports World Cup action in Riyadh

  • Al-Hilal’s Brazilian superstar was avid spectator at the largest gaming and esports festival in the world

RIYADH: Neymar, the Brazilian superstar footballer who plays for Al-Hilal in the Saudi Pro League, was a delighted spectator in Riyadh at the inaugural Esports World Cup, the globe’s largest gaming festival.

The No. 10 joined packed crowds to watch the action at Boulevard Riyadh City, as teams in the “Dota2 Riyadh Masters” and “Counter-Strike 2” contests battled it out in the finals.

He also met Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan, chairman of the Saudi Esports Federation.

The world event features a unique cross-game structure pitting the top clubs and players against one another across 22 global competitions in 21 leading games.

Held at the 8,000-capacity SEF Arena at Boulevard Riyadh City, the event runs until Aug. 25, and has a tournament prize pool of $60 million, the largest in the history of esports.

More than 1,500 players, of over 60 nationalities, are participating at the Esports World Cup.

As well as the “Dota 2 Riyadh Masters,” week three of the competition featured elite action in the “Counter Strike 2” and “PUBG Mobile” contests.

 


Diogo Jota says Riyadh Esports World Cup ‘a truly amazing experience’

Updated 22 July 2024
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Diogo Jota says Riyadh Esports World Cup ‘a truly amazing experience’

  • Liverpool and Portugal star, an avid gamer and investor, watched all the ‘Dota2 Riyadh Masters’ and ‘Counter-Strike 2’ action, and met esports players

RIYADH: Diogo Jota, the Liverpool and Portugal footballer, who attended the Esports World Cup in Riyadh on Sunday, has declared the globe’s largest gaming festival “a truly amazing experience.”

Jota, an avid gamer and investor in multinational esports organization Galaxy Racer, watched all the action at Boulevard Riyadh City as teams contested the finals of the “Dota2 Riyadh Masters” and “Counter-Strike 2” competitions.

The eight-week Esports World Cup features a unique cross-game structure pitting the top clubs and players against one another across 22 competitions in 21 leading games.

Held within the 8,000-capacity Saudi Esports Federation Arena at Boulevard Riyadh City, it runs until Aug. 25 and has a tournament prize pool of $60 million, the largest in the history of the sport.

The attacker, who has 42 caps and played for Portugal at the UEFA Euro 2024 this summer, met participating stars, including from Saudi Arabia’s Team Falcons, and happily swapped gaming and esports stories.

Jota said: “Being here at the inaugural Esports World Cup is a truly amazing experience. The organization and scale behind this event are truly impressive, even more than I anticipated.

“I’ve always believed in the potential of esports, even before starting my own team, and EWC is proof that this scene is evolving rapidly. This level of investment and infrastructure is exactly what esports needs to grow and reach a wider audience.

“I’m excited to see how EWC continues to evolve and push the boundaries of competitive gaming.”

Jota, who wears the No. 20 for Liverpool, was ranked world No. 1 in FIFA 21’s Champions Leaderboard. A regular streamer on Twitch, he also won an invitational series of FIFA matches, run by the Premier League, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Then a Wolverhampton Wanderers player, Jota defeated future Liverpool team-mate Trent Alexander-Arnold in the final.

Last year, Jota’s own esports organization, Diogo Jota Esports, was rebranded to Luna Galaxy — coming under the Galaxy Racer umbrella.

Prior to this, Diogo Jota Esports participated in the FIFAe Finals at Gamers8, organized by the Saudi Esports Federation, at Boulevard Riyadh City last summer, with Daniel “DFernandes” Fernandes finishing in the top 16.

More than 1,500 players, of over 60 nationalities, are battling it out at the inaugural Esports World Cup. Week three of the competition features action in the “Dota2 Riyadh Masters,” “Counter Strike 2,” and “PUBG Mobile” contests.


Gaimin Gladiators celebrate ‘Dota 2 Riyadh Masters’ triumph at the Esports World Cup

Updated 22 July 2024
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Gaimin Gladiators celebrate ‘Dota 2 Riyadh Masters’ triumph at the Esports World Cup

  • Canadian club earn tournament’s top prize of $1.5m after defeating Team Liquid 3-0 in the final

RIYADH: Gaimin Gladiators celebrated a deserved “Dota 2 Riyadh Masters” triumph on Sunday night at the Esports World Cup after whitewashing Team Liquid 3-0 in the final.

After nearly two weeks of “Dota 2 Riyadh Masters” competition at Boulevard Riyadh City, Gaimin Gladiators took the lion’s share of the $5 million tournament prize pool — earning a cool $1.5 million.

Team Liquid claimed $800,000 for finishing second, and Saudi Arabia side Team Falcons earned $600,000 for coming third.

Gaimin Gladiators had qualified for the Grand Final after defeating Team Liquid 2-0 in the Upper Bracket Final earlier on Sunday.

Team Liquid then earned a rematch after beating Team Falcons 2-0 in the Lower Bracket Final — but to no avail as the Canadian club brought their A-game when it mattered most.

Speaking at the post-final press conference, Quinn, Gaimin Gladiators’ Solo Middle player, said: “I think it’s nice to prove to ourselves that we can grind from the bottom back up to the top again.

“We had a tough year with some issues, so just to grind back up to the top was nice. It’s cool, it’s satisfying.”

Coach Cy added: “We want to always be the best. We try to be the best. As long as we’re together in this roster we should be aligned with that idea. It’s okay if we don’t achieve that but we have to put in the work to try and achieve that.”

tOfu, the Support player for Gaimin Gladiators, praised the organization at Boulevard Riyadh City for the Esports World Cup. “Everything went super smoothly.”

The Gaimin Gladiators’ lineup consists of: Coach Cy (Aske Larsen, Denmark), dyrachyo (Anton Shkredov, Russia), Quinn (Quinn Callahan, US), Ace (Marcus Hoelgaard, Denmark), tOfu (Erik Engel, Germany), and Seleri (Melchior Hillenkamp, Netherlands).

The “Dota 2 Riyadh Masters” was just one of the many incredible tournaments at the eight-week long Esports World Cup.

The world event features a unique cross-game structure pitting the top clubs and players against one another across 22 global competitions in 21 leading games.

Held at the 8,000-capacity SEF Arena at Boulevard Riyadh City, the event runs until Aug. 25, and has a tournament prize pool of $60 million, the largest in the history of esports.

More than 1,500 players, of over 60 nationalities, are participating at the Esports World Cup.

As well as the “Dota 2 Riyadh Masters,” week three of the competition featured elite action in “Counter Strike 2” and “PUBG Mobile” contests.