AARHUS: Paris and Los Angeles have been put formally on notice by the International Olympic Committee that one of them will need to accept 2028 if it wants to host the Games in the next cycle writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Last month’s clumsy exit from the bidding race for 2024 by Budapest left the two outstanding candidates to go head to head at the IOC Sessions in Lima in September.

A steady momentum has been building behind the concept of a double award but both bid committees from Paris and Los Angeles have issued firm statements that 2024 is the goal and that 2028, a loser’s consolation, was out of consideration.

The onus is now on the IOC and president Thomas Bach to find a persuasive argument – presumably cash-based – to make 2028 an attractive proposition.

Both bid committees were summoned to separate meetings at the SportAccord Convention in Aarhus by three members of the four-man working group of IOC vice-presidents set up by Bach to find a double-award solution –  Yu Zaiqing, Juan Antonio Samaranch and Ugur Erdener.

The one missing member was Australian John Coates.

The delegations were led by their respective Mayors, Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles and Anne Hidalgo of Paris. In separate meetings, Bach also met individually with Garcetti and Hidalgo to wish them well for the remainders of their candidatures.

Meetings with the IOC vice-presidents reportedly focused on the 2024 candidature process and the duties of the working group. The bids were informed that the working group may consider changes to the 2024/2028 selection process.

If this were to be the case, the cities would be informed at an appropriate stage.

LA 2024 said: “LA 2024 would like to thank the IOC for today’s meetings. We remain committed to bidding for the 2024 Games and look forward to future discussions with the IOC Working Group as the bid progresses.”

Paris co-chair Tony Estanguet is already on record as saying the French bid is only open for 2024 because the land required for the Olympic Village will not be available for 2028.