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IOC President says Olympics will be Cancelled if Not Held in 2021

IOC President, Thomas Bach, has acknowledged that Tokyo 2020 will be cancelled if the Olympic Games are not held in 2021


ioc president thomas bach getty images 1208206872a tokyo 2020 GettyImages 1210432320a

IOC President, Thomas Bach and Tokyo Olympic Stadium

Photos: Getty Images

Speaking to BBC earlier today, almost two months after Tokyo 2020 and the IOC announced the postponement of the Olympic Games until next year, IOC President, Thomas Bach, acknowledged that Tokyo 2020 would be cancelled should the Olympic Games not be held in 2021

BBC Article, with video of interview with IOC President, Thomas Bach


Mr. Bach said that different scenarios are being considered for the postponed event, due to the potential impact of COVID-19.

The Games are now due to take place from July 23rd to August 8th 2021, with the Paralympic Games following after that, from August 24th to September 5th 2021.

Last month, Japan Medical Association President, Yoshitake Yokokura, said that it would be hard to host the Games without a vaccine in place.

Bach has repeatedly sought to damp down speculation about various scenarios, telling the BBC the organisation is relying on experts, saying "For this question, we are relying on the advice of the World Health Organization."

"We have established one principle: to organise these Games in a safe environment for all the participants."

"Nobody knows what the world will look like in one year, in two months."

"So we have to rely on (experts) and then take the appropriate decision at the appropriate time based on this advice."

Bach said that he understood Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe's view that next year could be the "last option" to stage the Games.

"Quite frankly, I have some understanding for this, because you cannot forever employ 3,000, or 5,000, people in an Organising Committee"

"You cannot every year change the entire sports schedule worldwide of all the major federations."

"You cannot have the athletes being in uncertainty."

"You cannot have so much overlapping with a future Olympic Games, so I have some understanding for this approach by our Japanese partners."

"We have to be prepared for different scenarios."

"There is the clear commitment to having these Games in July next year."

Bach said that scenarios concerning health measures were also being assessed, saying on NBC Sports that the IOC needed to consider whether rules might be necessary to ensure access to Japan next year.


Thomas Bach - NBC Interview

This might involve quarantines for athletes, and setting attendance limits. Mr. Bach said that these scenarios were part of the "mammoth task" facing Games organisers, saying that decisions would be taken at an "appropriate time", after advice from experts.

He emphasised that the IOC didn't want to hold the Games behind closed doors.

Last week, €600 million was set aside by the IOC, to auid the organisation of the re-arranged Games, although Tokyo 2020 organisers are still assessing the postponement costs.

The IOC has also set aside an "aid package" €137 million, to help International Federations (IFs).
This fund could be used to provide loans and advance payments on revenue shares, and will be decided after an assessment of needs, and on a case-by-case basis.


CEO of the Tokyo Olympic

Speaking today, Toshiro Muto, CEO of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee, spoke about the need to take “countermeasures” to combat the coronavirus at next year's postponed games. Mr. Muto acknowledged talk about holding next year's Olympics 'behind closed doors', but he didn't confirm that this will happen.

He was reacting to a BBC interview in which International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said an Olympics without fans “is not what we want.”

speaking through an interpreter in an on-line news conference“Regarding president Bach’s remarks," said Muto, , "there are other people in Japan as well that (believe the Olympics) need to take place behind closed doors. However, our point of view is that we have more than one year until the games take place. And we think it’s too early at this point in time to have that discussion.”

“Obviously, we are aware that it will be inevitable to have some sort of countermeasures for Covid-19 when we hold the Tokyo Olympic Games and Paralympic Games next year,”  “This is all we can say at this point in time. For detailed questions about specific countermeasures for us to take, it may not be the right timing to answer.”

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