IOC SET TO ANNOUNCE TOKYO 2020 POSTPONEMENT

A final decision whether to postpone this year’s Tokyo Olympic Games will be taken in the coming days, two sources within the Olympic movement told Reuters on Tuesday (March 24).

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Tokyo Games organisers are under mounting pressure to postpone the Games due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and IOC president Thomas Bach will hold a telephone conference at 1100 GMT (7pm, Singapore time).

The call was also expected to feature Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike, organising committee chief Yoshiro Mori and Olympics Minister Seiko Hashimoto.

The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the IOC and Japan would not take the full four weeks of consultation announced by the Olympic body on Sunday after finally saying that postponement was an option.

“A decision will be announced in the coming days. It is not a matter of weeks but days,” one source said.

The contact comes after the IOC gave itself four weeks to weigh a possible postponement due to the pandemic surging across the world.

Canada and Australia have already withdrawn their teams and the influential US Olympic committee has also said postponement was the best way forward.

Despite coming under increasing pressure, IOC officials believe a decision would be “premature” four months from the scheduled opening ceremony on July 24.

Abe has said he is committed to hosting a “complete” Olympics but admitted for the first time on Monday: “If that becomes difficult, in light of considering athletes first, it may become inevitable that we make a decision to postpone.”