In an interview with the New York Times, Thomas Bach, the president of the I.O.C., explained that “cancellation is not on the agenda,” and that it was too early to make a decision about postponing the Summer Games in Tokyo. With the Coronavirus spreading being an issue in Japan too, the I.O.C. said it does have different scenarios on the table but at the moment the event is going ahead as planned.
Dissent is growing among athletes as they are worried about the effects of the Coronavirus, the lack of information about what is going to happen by the 24th of July, when the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are supposed to start and how their safety will be guaranteed. The International Olympic Committee said on Tuesday the 17th of March that no “drastic decisions” will be made about the games and athletes should keep on training for the event as it is still in their plans to continue organizing the Olympics.
Most football competitions have already been cancelled and since the January transfer window, only about half a dozen games have been played in most major football leagues. Top-level football competitions in England, Spain, Germany, Italy, France and most other football leagues have been put on hold, with Turkey being one of the only exceptions. But, the Olympics 2020 organizers don’t want to compare the Olympics with other sports events as there are still more than four months to go till the event is supposed to start.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the country is hopeful of hosting the Olympics this summer “without a hitch”. Though the Japanese government and the International Olympic Committee are convinced the tournament will go on, they also do need athletes to compete and at this moment it’s likely many federations will decide not to send their athletes to Tokyo if the Coronavirus has not been contained in the coming months.
In the interview with the New York Times, Thomas Bach, the president of the I.O.C. showed to still be hopeful and said: “of course we are considering different scenarios, but we are contrary to many other sports organizations or professional leagues in that we are four and a half months away from the Games.” Bach was asked if it would be an option to postpone the event to this fall or even 2021 but in the interview, he made clear that nor cancellation or postponement is on the agenda and the I.O.C. is still committed to the success of the Games.