‘Tokyo 2020 would be cancelled if not held in 2021’

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Thomas Bach has acknowledged that Tokyo 2020 would be cancelled should the Olympic Games not be held in 2021, while the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President confirmed that different scenarios are being considered over the potential impact of coronavirus on the postponed event.

Bach made the comments in an interview with the BBC, nearly two months after Tokyo 2020 and the IOC announced the postponement of the Games until next year.

Bach has repeatedly sought to quell “speculation”, with the IOC President telling the BBC the organisation is relying on experts.

“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.

“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 added that he understood Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s assessment 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,” said Bach.

“We have to be prepared for different scenarios.

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

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