With more countries already threatening to pull out and the coronavirus pandemic not abating, there are strong indications that the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games may be officially postponed today (Tuesday).
It is understood that officials of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will be meeting with the Japanese government today and an official announcement of postponement to possibly 2021 could be made.
“Today, the IOC is discussing with Japanese govt, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and IOC Executive Board about the scenario planning including the postponement of the Games and will communicate in due course.” Mark Adams, the IOC spokesperson, was quoted as saying on Tuesday.
Several sporting events have either been postponed or canceled since the COVID-19 assumed a global status.
It is reported that 368, 226 cases have so far been confirmed globally since December, with 251,053 active cases.
Of the active cases, 239,197 are in mild condition and 11,856 are in critical condition.
On Monday, veteran IOC member, Dick Pound of Montreal, suggested that the 2020 Tokyo Games will be postponed.
Mr Pound told The Canadian Press in a phone interview he expects the July 24 start of the Olympics to be pushed back.
“You’re looking at a postponement,” Mr Pound said Monday. “I think that’s out there now.
“We’re all reading the tea leaves and so on, but the Japanese themselves are talking about postponing. A lot of National Olympic Committees and countries are calling for a postponement.”
Earlier Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic committees made the right decision in announcing Canadian athletes will not go to this summer’s Olympics or Paralympics if they start on their scheduled dates.
Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) said Sunday night it would hold back its athletes if the Games start as scheduled and called for a postponement until 2021.
“I know this is heartbreaking for so many people — athletes, coaches, staff and fans. But this was absolutely the right call, and everyone should follow their lead,” Trudeau said Monday in Ottawa.
Now, Britain is set to follow Australia and Canada in boycotting the Tokyo Olympics due to the coronavirus pandemic, the head of the British Olympic Association said on Tuesday.
Hugh Robertson said that with athletes unable to train together and fears the spread of the coronavirus will worsen in the coming weeks in Britain, there was little chance of sending a team to Japan for the Games that are scheduled to start on July 24.
Several qualifying events for the Olympic Games are still pending.