Prime Sports, International Sport and Games, Tokyo (Japan), March 24:- One of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) longest-serving members, Dick Pound on Monday said that it has been decided that the Tokyo Olympics will be postponed.
Canadian Dick Pound said it is certain that the Tokyo Games will not start as scheduled on July 24 and likely to be pushed to 2021 due to concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic. Notably, Canada was the 1st country to announce it is pulling out of the Games if they are held as scheduled despite the Covid-19 outbreak.
“On the basis of the information, the IOC has, the postponement has been decided,” Dick Pound said.
“The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.”
“It will come in stages,” he said. “We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense.”
Voices urging the IOC to postpone the Games have been growing with several athletes and sporting federations expressing their concerns in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Tokyo Olympics is scheduled to be held in the Japanese capital from July 24 to August 9. If confirmed, the Tokyo Olympics will become the 1st edition of the Games to be postponed in its 124-year modern history.
The Covid-19 pandemic has jolted the sporting calendar across the globe with several major tournaments either being postponed or cancelled.
On Monday, Australia also said it will not send athletes to Tokyo if the Games are not being postponed hours after Canada confirmed its pull out.
For the 1st time since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the IOC on Sunday said it is considering postponement as an option.
In a letter written to the athletes, IOC president Thomas Bach said cancelling the Tokyo Games is not an option but a decision, keeping in mind the health and safety of the athletes, will be taken in the next 4 weeks.
“Together with all the stakeholders, we have started detailed discussions today to complete our assessment of the rapid development of the worldwide health situation and its impact on the Olympic Games, including a scenario of postponement,” Thomas Bach said in the letter.
“We are working very hard, and we are confident that we will have finalised these discussions within the next four weeks.”
On Monday, the World Health Organisation also said it is awaiting a decision from the IOC on Tokyo Games soon and that the coronavirus crisis is accelerating across the globe.
Asked about the 2020 Olympics due to be held in Tokyo, Mike Ryan, head of WHO’s emergencies programme, said the WHO was feeding into deliberations by the International Olympic Committee, the Japanese government and the Tokyo 2020 Committee. (MR, Inputs: Agencies)