A final decision on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be reached in four weeks by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) with postponement of the Games set to be assessed.
An IOC Executive Board meeting took place by teleconference today. The four week window is expected to allow the IOC and Tokyo 2020 the chance to study different options regarding a postponement of the Games. The IOC said the scenarios will involve either modifying existing operational plans, which would allow the go ahead on 24 July. Changes to the start date of the Games will also be considered.
The time frame provided by the IOC follows mounting pressure from athletes and National Olympic Committees over the fate of the Games, due to the coronavirus pandemic. IOC President Thomas Bach admitted for the first time earlier this week that alternative scenarios were being considered by the organisation. A postponement has now been acknowledged openly for the first time. The IOC repeated that cancellation of the Games “is not on the agenda.”
“Contrary to other sports events, to postpone the Olympic Games is an extremely complex challenge. “A number of critical venues needed for the Games could potentially not be available anymore.
“The situations with millions of nights already booked in hotels is extremely difficult to handle, and the international sports calendar for at least 33 Olympic sports would have to be adapted.
The Olympics are currently scheduled to take place from July 24 to August 9.
The Paralympic Games will follow from August 25 to September 6.
International Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons has backed the IOC’s decision, describing the four weeks as a “window of opportunity”.
“The next four weeks will provide time to see if the global health situation improves, while giving a window of opportunity to look into different scenarios should the dates of the Games need to be changed,” Parsons said.