Olympics: London 2012 kicks off with football

LONDON. July 25. KAZINFORM The first event of the Olympics is to kick off later, two days before the official opening ceremony, according to BBC.

The Team GB women's football side will get 18 days of sport under way at 16:00 BST when they take on New Zealand at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

Designated Games Lanes - covering about 30 miles of roads and off limits to the public - come into operation in London.

And government lawyers will be in court to try to block a public sector workers strike on the eve of the Games.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt will join Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan in Cardiff for the first event of the 2012 Games.

Team GB coach Hope Powell said opening the Games was a "great honour" and would hopefully give people "a greater appreciation of how good women's football actually is".

And captain Casey Stoney said she hoped the fixture could "raise the profile of women's football".

"It's a global thing, not just for our nation, and hopefully we can put on a good show - but we are just focused on getting the job done."

Team GB drew 0-0 against Sweden  in their final warm-up fixture at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium last Friday.

Relative unknowns Cameroon and heavily fancied Brazil will take each other on at the stadium after the GB game, and four other matches in the same competition are also taking place later in the day at Hampden Park in Glasgow and the City of Coventry Stadium.

The Olympic Route Network  (ORN), made up of 175 miles of roads connecting up the main Olympic venues across the country, comes into force on Wednesday.

It is designed to make it easier for athletes and officials to get around the Games and has seen junctions blocked off, bus stops moved and parking bays suspended.

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