Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he and the head of the International Olympic Committee approved the idea of postponing the Tokyo Olympics by about a year.
Abe spoke to reporters on Tuesday after a phone call with IOC President Thomas Bach about the postponement of the games amid growing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.
“We asked President Bach to consider a postponement of about a year to allow athletes to play in the best conditions and make the event safe for spectators,” said Abe.
“President Bach said he was 100 percent in agreement.” Tokyo was ready when the virus spread across the world. Although Abe insisted for months that the games would take place as planned, Abe said this week that a delay could be inevitable if the events could not be held in full.
The Tokyo governor, Yuriko Koike, separately told reporters that the games to be called by summer 2021 will continue to be referred to as “Tokyo 2020”.
The postponed Olympic Games will be “evidence” of humanity’s victory over the new coronavirus pandemic, Abe said Tuesday.
The Japanese prime minister said he had received the approval of the head of the International Olympic Committee to postpone the games and then hold them “in full form as evidence of humanity’s defeat against the new virus”.
The International Olympic Committee and Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee released a joint statement shortly after Abe’s announcement.
“President Bach and Prime Minister Abe expressed their shared concern about the global COVID-19 pandemic, what it means for people’s lives, and the significant impact it will have on preparing the global athletes for the games,” she said Explanation.
“In a very friendly and constructive meeting, the two heads of state and government praised the work of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee and noted that Japan had made great strides in the fight against COVID-19.
“The situation in the rest of the world has deteriorated due to the unprecedented and unpredictable spread of the outbreak.
“In the current circumstances and based on the information provided by WHO today, the IOC President and the Japanese Prime Minister have concluded that the XXXII Games. Tokyo Olympics postponed to 2020, but no later than summer 2021 to protect the health of athletes, everyone involved in the Olympics, and the international community.
“The Heads of State and Government agreed that the Tokyo Olympics could be a beacon of hope for the world during these difficult times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world is currently located .
“It was therefore agreed that the Olympic flame would stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the games would keep the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games names. “
Australian Olympic Committee CEO Matt Carroll said on Monday to reporters that he would not send a team to Japan because the Olympics would be postponed.
“We have overseas athletes who train as teams at central locations across Australia and manage their own programs. With travel and other restrictions, this becomes an untenable situation, ”Carroll said in a statement Monday.
Australian team boss de Mission for Tokyo, Ian Chesterman, said: “It is clear that the games cannot take place in July.”
“Our athletes were great in their positive attitudes towards training and preparation, but the stress and insecurity were extremely challenging for them.
“They also carried the burden of caring for their colleagues around the world. That was a consistent message to me.