Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 8 April 2020

IOC hope to announce new date for Tokyo Olympics 'as soon as possible'

Thomas Bach: 'We have to see with them what the options are'

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said he hopes a decision on a new date for the Tokyo Games can be agreed "as soon as possible", while he did not rule out the possibility of the event taking place next spring.

This summer Games were on Tuesday pushed back 12 months "at the latest" after the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee were warned by the World Health Organisation that the coronavirus spread was accelerating.

Speaking in a conference call on Wednesday, Bach said that another call would take place with the 33 international sports federations on Thursday to discuss the matter.

"We have to see with them what the options are," he said. "After having consulted with them we also have to take into account the sporting calendar around the Olympic Games and many, many other issues.

"We should come to a solution as soon as possible, but first priority should be the quality of the decision, to really be able to take the input of all stakeholders into account."

Bach conceded that finding the right slot in the calendar was “a challenging question”, and said that a task force called “Here We Go” had been set up to exhaust all possibilities.

Asked if the Olympics could be postponed again, or even cancelled, should the pandemic not ease, Bach said: “We want and will organise a Games only in a safe environment for all the participants.”

Tuesday’s decision marked the first time the Olympics has been postponed in its 124-year modern history. The 2020 event has already cost Tokyo $12 billion (Dh40bn).

Updated: March 25, 2020 03:56 PM

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