With the coronavirus outbreak, taking pandemic proportions, doubts are increasingly being laid whether the Tokyo Olympics will be held as per schedule from July 24 to August 9. Governor Yuriko Koike had a meeting at the prime minister’s office in Tokyo on March 12 after which she told reporters that cancelling the 2020 Olympics is “unthinkable”. The fact that the World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus outbreak as a global pandemic, will have some impact on the Games, the Tokyo city governor said on Thursday (March 12), The Straits Times reported.
“It can’t be said that the announcement of a pandemic would have no impact… But I think cancellation is unthinkable,” Ms Yuriko Koike told reporters.
- The WHO has declared the coronavirus outbreak as a global pandemic.
- Governor Yuriko Koike told reporters that cancelling the 2020 Olympics is “unthinkable”.
- The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said there hasn’t been any talk of cancellation or postponement as yet.
Organisers are still insistent on keeping up with the schedule. They have asked the government to plan the Games accordingly. Now the final decision rests with the International Olympic Committee (IOC). They have said there hasn’t been any talk of cancellation or postponement yet.
Lighting of the Olympic Flame
The traditional flame-lighting ceremony in Olympia, Greece is to be held without spectators in wake of the Covid 19 outbreak. The torch is due to arrive in Japan on March 20. Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori said that organisers are “concerned” about the virus. “The coronavirus has become a global problem. We can’t just hold it (the Olympics) because Japan is OK,” Executive board member Haruyuki Takahashi told the daily on Wednesday.
He also said that it would be “impossible” to cancel the Games altogether. However, the IOC has said “it will coordinate closely with the World Health Organisation, which has now officially classified the outbreak as a pandemic.”
Coronavirus impacts sports
Coronavirus has already had some impact on sports across the globe. Recently, the NBA had to suspend a match after a Utah Jazz player preliminarily tested positive for Covid-19. In Italy, all sporting events including Series A have been suspended until April 3. Arsenal’s game at Manchester City on Wednesday was called off due to the outbreak.
In tennis, next month’s Fed Cup tennis finals in Budapest have been postponed, the ITF said on Wednesday. The 12-team women’s competition was scheduled for April 14-19 but were called off “in response to COVID-19 health concerns”, the ITF said in a statement.
“After careful consideration and close discussion with the ITF Board, the Local Organising Committee and in light of today’s announcement by the Hungarian government regarding indoor events, it is with regret that the ITF has announced the postponement of the Fed Cup Finals,” it added.
Also, the ATP and WTA Indian Wells tournament were cancelled as California as health officials declared a public health emergency in the area after a confirmed case of the coronavirus.
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