The International Olympic Committee does not plan any “drastic” decisions about the Tokyo 2020 Games, saying it remains fully committed to the event being staged in four months’ time despite the global spread of the coronavirus.
Following discussions with international sports federations the IOC said changes would need to be made to the qualifiers due to the impact of the virus, but it still plans to go ahead with the July 24-Aug 9 Olympics.
Earlier, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Group of Seven
leaders had agreed to support a “complete” Olympics, but he dodged
questions about whether any of the leaders had brought up the
possibility of postponement.
The virus also forced the postponement of South America’s Copa
America soccer tournament – one of the biggest draws on the football
calendar – and speculation about whether the Olympics can be held has
grown by the day.
So far the coronavirus has infected almost 190,000 people and killed
more than 7,500 worldwide, with the epicentre now being Europe.
Sports competitions have come to a halt in many parts of the world,
wreaking havoc with Olympic qualifier events across 33 sports. The IOC
on Monday scrapped any remaining boxing qualifiers due to the virus.
“The health and well-being of all those involved in the preparations
for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is our number-one concern,” IOC
President Thomas Bach said.
“All measures are being taken to safeguard the safety and interests
of athletes, coaches and support teams. We are an Olympic community; we
support one another in good times and in difficult times.”