ANKARA – After being postponed for a year due to coronavirus, the 2020 Tokyo Games, will have to be canceled if not held next summer, according to the head of the International Olympic Committee.
“You cannot forever employ 3,000 or 5,000 people in an organizing committee,” Kyodo News quoted Thomas Bach as saying on Thursday.
“You cannot every year change the entire sports schedule worldwide of all the major federations. You cannot have the athletes being in uncertainty,” he added.
Bach said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has “made it clear to him that there is no plan B” if the games are further delayed.
According to the new schedule, the Olympics will begin on July 23, 2021 and run through Aug. 8.
The Tokyo Olympics will be followed by China hosting the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
Asked if the tournament could be held behind closed doors, the IOC president said: “This is not what we want.”
“Because the Olympic spirit is also about uniting the fans, and this is what makes the games so unique… but when it would come to the decision, I would ask them to give me some more time for consultation with the athletes, with the World Health Organization, with the Japanese partners,” he added.
The Olympics were last canceled in 1944 due to World War II but the games had never been delayed in their 124-year modern history. (Anadolu)