Friday, June 5, 2020 | ePaper

Tokyo Olympics CEO hints Games could be in doubt even in 2021

  • Print


AP, Tokyo :
As the coronavirus spreads in Japan, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Tokyo Games said Friday he can't guarantee the postponed Olympics will be staged next year - even with a 16-month delay.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe issued an emergency declaration this week to battle the virus, putting the country under restrictions after it seemed it had avoided the spread.
"I don't think anyone would be able to say if it is going to be possible to get it under control by next July or not," Tokyo organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto said, speaking through an interpreter at a news conference conducted remotely. "We're certainly are not in a position to give you a clear answer."
The Olympics were postponed last month with a new opening set for July 23, 2021, followed by the Paralympics on Aug. 24.
Abe has been criticized for being slow to act against the coronavirus. Opposition political leaders have suggested he downplayed the severity of the virus and have said it may have been tied to wanting to hold the Olympics this year.
"We have made the decision to postpone the games by one year," Muto added. "So this means that all we can do is work hard to prepare for the games. We sincerely hope that come next year mankind will manage to overcome the coronavirus crisis."
Muto was asked if there are alternative plans to 2021.
"Rather than think about alternatives plans, we should put in all of our effort," he said. "Mankind should bring together all of its technology and wisdom to work hard so they can development treatments, medicines and vaccines."
Japan has reported about 5,000 cases and 100 deaths. The country has the world's oldest population, and COVID-19 can be especially serious for the elderly.
Muto was asked several times about the added costs of postponing, which has been estimated by Japanese media at between $2 billion-$6 billion. He said it was too soon to know the price tag and who would pay.
He also acknowledged that Tokyo Olympics organizers had taken out insurance.
"Tokyo 2020 has taken out several insurance policies," he said. "But whether the postponement of the games qualifies as an event that is covered is not clear yet."
He was also asked about the Olympic flame, which was taken off public display this week in Fukushima prefecture. Muto had an away-from-the-microphone talk with Tokyo spokesman Masa Takaya before talking about the flame.
"After the Olympic torch relay was canceled, the Olympic flame was put under the management of Tokyo 2020," Muto said. "Obviously in the future there is a possibility it might be put on display somewhere. However, for now it is under the management of Tokyo 2020 and I'm not going to make any further comment on the issue."

More News For this Category

Tennis 'ice queen' Pliskova says she gets nervous like others

Tennis 'ice queen' Pliskova says she gets nervous like others

Czech tennis star Karolina Pliskova, WTA world number 3, has laughed off her "ice queen" tag in an interview published by WTA on Wednesday, explaining that she gets nervous and

Boateng calls on white sportspeople to add voices to Floyd protests

Bayern Munich's Germany defender Jerome Boateng has called on more famous white sportspeople to add their voices to the chorus of outrage at the US police killing of George Floyd.Floyd,

Sky Brown, 11, targets Olympic gold despite horror

Sky Brown, 11, targets Olympic gold despite horror

Agency :Eleven-year-old skateboarder Sky Brown is still targeting Olympic gold for Britain in Tokyo despite a horrific fall during training in the United States.Brown was rushed to hospital by

BRU to arrange Corona Cup Rugby meet

In order to make people aware of coronavirus , the Bangladesh Rugby Union (BRU) are thinking to arrange a Corona Cup Rugby Competition, said a Bangladesh Rugby Union (BRU)

Kutubuddin Ahmed gets Knight Award of Spain

Kutubuddin Ahmed gets Knight Award of Spain

Sports Reporter :Former secretary general of Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) Kutubuddin Ahmed got Knight Award of Spain. It is the highest reward of Spain.Ahmed was one of the organiser

BHF helps hockey players & umpires

Sports Reporter :Bangladesh Hockey Federation (BHF) has decided to help 100 hockey players and umpires.President of Bangladesh Hockey Federation and Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Masihuzzaman Serniabat gave

US Open hopes limited fans in attendance

Despite Covid-19 still spreading, the United States Golf Association (USGA) is optimistic about keeping the championship at Winged Foot Golf Club in suburban New York on the schedule and remains

Golam Rabbani Helal no more

Golam Rabbani Helal no more

Sports Reporter :Former international footballer and member of Abahani Limited Football team Golam Rabbani Helal died on Saturday in the city's Square Hospital. He was 67. He was suffering from

Federer tops list of world's highest-paid athletes

Federer tops list of world's highest-paid athletes

AFP, New York :Roger Federer topped the 2020 Forbes magazine list of highest-paid global athletes announced Friday, leading the lineup for the first time with pre-tax earnings of $106.3 million

Spanish La Liga confirms season will resume on June 11

The Spanish league season will resume after a three-month coronavirus lockdown on June 11 with the Seville derby, and the 2020-2021 season will start on September 12, the Spanish Sports