Last chance for Tokyo Olympics after big delay

IOC chief Thomas Bach says the Tokyo Games would have to be scrapped if the event cannot be held next year due to the Covid-19 crisis. In March, the International Olympic Committee and Japanese government took the unprecedented decision to delay the Games, which had been due to start in July, for a...

REUTERS

Friday, May 22, 2020

IOC chief Thomas Bach says the Tokyo Games would have to be scrapped if the event cannot be held next year due to the Covid-19 crisis.

In March, the International Olympic Committee and Japanese government took the unprecedented decision to delay the Games, which had been due to start in July, for a year due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

However, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said the multi-sports event cannot take place in 2021 unless the virus is contained and Bach said he understood his position.

The novel coronavirus has infected more than 17,100 people in Japan, causing 797 deaths.

"Quite frankly, I have some understanding for this, because you can't forever employ 3,000 or 5,000 people in an organizing committee," Bach said.

"You can't every year change the entire sports schedule worldwide of all the major federations. You can't have the athletes being in uncertainty."

Bach said the IOC was committed to holding the Games next year though it had to be prepared for various scenarios including quarantining athletes.

"It's a mammoth task because there are so many different options that it's not easy to address them," he said.