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‘I’m over it:’ Comedian Kevin Hart rules out hosting the Oscars

NEW YORK: The actor Kevin Hart ruled out hosting this year’s Oscars because he no longer had enough time to prepare for the show, days after saying he was evaluating his December decision to step down over criticism of past homophobic comments. He told ABC that he was no longer willing to discuss the anti-gay comments he had made on Twitter in 2010 and 2011, which caused the uproar that led him to step down as host, saying his previous explanations and apology were sufficient.  “I’m over it,” he said repeatedly to almost…

Russia hands over World Cup hosting duties to Qatar

MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday handed over the mantle of World Cup host to the emir of Qatar, whose country will stage the 2022 edition of the tournament. The ceremony marked a handover from the world’s largest country by landmass to one of the smallest. Qatar has a population of 2.3 million people and an area slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Connecticut. Qatar’s size, as well as its broiling temperatures and its lack of ready stadium infra-structure, have prompted some to question the…

FIFA lifts three-decade ban on Iraq hosting international matches

BOGOTA: FIFA has lifted its three-decade ban on Iraq hosting international football, a move hailed by the country´s sports authorities on Saturday as a boost for its most popular game. "We are allowing international matches to be staged in the cities of Arbil, Basra and Karbala," FIFA president Gianni Infantino told reporters after a meeting of the FIFA Council in Bogota. The three cities had been allowed to organise friendlies in the past year provided the security situation was "stable". Iraq will host Qatar and…

No regrets over hosting World Cup, says Qatar 2022 chief

DOHA: Qatar's most senior World Cup official said Monday there were no regrets in bidding for the 2022 tournament, despite the "abuse" it claims it has received since being chosen as host. Speaking at a press conference to mark the eve of the five-year anniversary before the tournament starts, Hassan Al Thawadi said Qatar was right to bid for football's premier tournament. "It will always be worth it, it will always continue being worth it," said Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and…

Pakistan take giant step with Sri Lanka hosting

LAHORE: From Sri Lanka team bus hero Meher Khalil to the three of the eight families of those who died in the March 2009 terrorists' attacks, Sunday's Twenty20 international in Lahore was more than a cricket match for everyone. The match lasted just four hours but it left a lasting impression, both on and off the field. Since those attacks, the families have settled but the loss of their dear ones can never be forgotten. The match gave them a moment to remember them. For the fans it was once again an exercise of going…

Comedian Jimmy Kimmel to host 2017 Oscars – Academy

LOS ANGELES: U.S. comedian and talk show host Jimmy Kimmel will host the 2017 Oscars ceremony in February, organizers said on Monday, taking on one of the trickiest jobs in show business. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences confirmed that Kimmel had been chosen after it was first reported by Hollywood trade publication Variety. Kimmel, 49, who hosts ABC television's "Late Night with Jimmy Kimmel," will be a first-time host of the Oscars, the most prestigious night in the movie industry. He previously hosted…