IOC, Japan agree to postpone Tokyo Olympics, Paralympics amid coronavirus outbreak

TEHRAN, Mar. 24 (MNA) – IOC and Japan agreed to put off Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games due to COVID-19 global pandemic. The decision came after swelling resistance from nations and athletes to holding the Games amid the coronavirus pandemic.

After months of internal discussions and mounting pressure from nations and athletes across the world, the International Olympic Committee will postpone the Summer Games that had been scheduled to begin in late July in Tokyo, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan said Tuesday.

Instead, the Games, the world’s largest sporting event, will take place in the summer of 2021, a change that will wreak havoc with sports schedules but should bring great relief to the athletes, organizers and health officials who had increasingly pressed that the coronavirus pandemic made it unsafe to go forward with the event, New York Times reported.

The decision became inevitable after the National Olympic Committee in Canada announced on Sunday that it was withdrawing from the Games, and Australia’s committee told its athletes that it was not possible to train for this summer under the widespread restrictions in place to control the virus. The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, after initially declining to take a stand, joined the fray Monday night, urging the IOC to postpone.

In announcing the decision, Abe said that he had asked Thomas Bach, president of the IOC, for a one-year delay and that Bach had “agreed 100 percent.” IOC leaders have acknowledged the disruption but said that a delay was the only way to ensure that athletes could train safely and the more than $10 billion that Japan has spent to prepare for the Olympics during the past seven years would not go to waste.


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