Tokyo Olympics 2020 have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced.
Abe said Japan and the International Olympic Committee came to an agreement during a phone call with the head of the IOC, Thomas Bach, following growing calls for the games to be delayed or cancelled because of the concerns around the coronavirus pandemic.
The games will be held by the summer of 2021.
“Considering the current situation, in regards to the Tokyo Games, as the host nation, in order to ensure that athletes from all over the world are able to compete in their best condition, and also in order to ensure the utmost safety for the spectators, I have asked him to consider postponing the games by about a year,” Abe added.
There was a lot of mystery in the events leading up to the postponement with a score of athletes having doubts to whether it will be held.
Australia and Canada both announced they would not be sending athletes to Tokyo this year, and — along with the likes of USA, Germany and Poland — called for the Games to be postponed until 2021.
The Olympics is the biggest event to be cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, and it is the first major disruption to the Olympics since World War II, when the 1940 Summer Olympics, which were also to be held in Tokyo, were cancelled.
Veteran International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound, who is also one of the most influential members of the IOC, confirmed that the games will likely be moved to 2021.
“On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided,” Pound said in a phone interview with SPORTS TODAY, “The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.”
The details have not been ironed out yet.