TOSHIRO MUTO, the head of the Olympic organising committee in Tokyo has seemingly not ruled out cancelling the Olympics at the last minute
Toshiro Muto, the Japanese head of the organising committee for the Tokyo Olympics, which are due to open on Friday, when asked at a news conference on Tuesday 20, if the Games might still be cancelled, hinted that he has not ruled out a last-minute cancellation of the Games.
With 68 athletes now affected by coronavirus, and possibly more to come in the next 24 hours, the pressure is on Mr Muto and the IOC to make some sort of decision, as he told the news conference, “We can’t predict what will happen with the number of coronavirus cases. So we will continue discussions if there is a spike in cases”.
Adding, “We have agreed that based on the coronavirus situation, we will convene five-party talks again. At this point, the coronavirus cases may rise or fall, so we will think about what we should do when the situation arises”.
Tokyo is currently experiencing a rise in infections, and the Games have already been condemned to being held behind closed doors, with athletes faced with competing in empty venues, to minimise any risks of further outbreaks among the athletes, with the opening ceremony due to take place this Friday 24.
In another blow to the Games, it has been announced that Friday’s ceremony will be devoid of major sponsors, with its organisers facing hefty public criticism over their concerns about athletes entering the county from abroad and possibly triggering another unwanted spike in infections
Thomas Bach, the President of the International Olympic Committee, in his opening comments at the 138th IOC Session in Tokyo, has defended the decision to reschedule the Games for this summer.
Bach said, “Cancellation would have been the easy way for us. We could have drawn on the insurance that we had at the time and moved on to Paris 2024. But, in fact, cancellation was never an option for us – the IOC never abandons the athletes”.
“Imagine for a moment what it would have meant if the leader of the Olympic movement, the IOC, would have added to the many doubts surrounding the Olympic Games, it would have poured fuel on to this fire. Our doubts could have become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The Olympic Games could have fallen to pieces. That is why we had to keep these doubts to ourselves”, as reported by skysports.com.
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