There are strong indications that this year’s Olympics may be shifted to 2022 as battle against coronavirus continues.
Covid-19 has forced the cancellation of so many sporting events including the suspension of top leagues across the globe.
The Olympics one of the biggest sporting events has equally been threatened by the virus with some calling for its outright cancellation.
But organisers who remain hopeful that the event can still hold even behind closed doors, are having a second thought as it has not been possible to contain the virus so far.
The latest idea is a possible shift of the event by two years to 2022
Organisers have been pushing a consistent message that the Games would not be cancelled or postponed but sponsors who have pumped in billions of dollars have grown increasingly nervous about how the virus’ spread will impact the event.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Wednesday that “the preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 are continuing as planned.”
The Games are due to be held in Japan’s capital city between July 24 and August 9 but may now be delayed until 2022.
Haruyuki Takahashi, one of more than two dozen members of the Tokyo 2020 executive board, said the body had just started looking at scenarios for how the virus could affect the Games.
He told the Wall Street Journal: “We’ll have to start talking about this seriously from April. I don’t think the Games could be cancelled, it’d be a delay.
“The International Olympic Committee would be in trouble if there’s a cancellation. American TV rights alone provide them with a huge amount.”
Takahashi stated that a two-year delay would be the most feasible solution because sports schedules for the next year have largely been decided.
Japan’s Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto said that cancellation or delay of the Games would be unacceptable for the athletes.
“From the viewpoint of athletes who are the main protagonists in the Tokyo Games, as they are making adjustments and preparations for this once-in-four-year’s event… it is inconceivable to cancel or postpone,” Ms Hashimoto told a parliamentary committee.
“We think it is important that the government gives correct information so that the IOC makes an appropriate decision.”