Japan and the CIO agree to postpone the Olympics for a year

An agreement has been reached between Japan and the CIO. “Tokyo 2021 will testify to the defeat of the virus,” says Shinzo Abe.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee (CIO) President Thomas Bach agree to postpone Tokyo Olympics to summer 2021 at the latest, Japanese government chief said on Tuesday .

The President added that each national Olympic committee and international sport federation had supported the strategy of the COI Executive Board.

“We obtained unanimous support through an individual vote, including from the Canadian Olympic Committee. We then had a call with more than 200 athlete representatives and there was not a single voice asking for the cancellation of the Games. The questions covered the qualification system, training conditions, mental health and others. ”

“Alarming new information” about the spread of the virus, particularly in Africa, South America and the United States, led to an “emergency meeting” of the COI Executive Board on Sunday morning, said Bach. The local organizing committee and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have been contacted beforehand to probe their openness to a postponement scenario. After being assured that a cancellation was not in the plans, they agreed to investigate this possibility.

The “acceleration” of the crisis, according to data provided Monday by the World Health Organization, and its spread to islands in Oceania, convinced the COI of the impossibility for Japan to receive the world in the summer next.

The next day, Prime Minister Abe himself proposed a postponement “after consultation with the COI,” said Bach. “For the Games to be a success, we need total agreement and to be united. ”

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said at a press conference that the Games will always be called the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The unprecedented postponement of the Games will be a blow to Japan, it will certainly have major economic, political and social impacts and will pose considerable logistical challenges, local media reported.

The resulting decision is a first for the modern era Olympics in peacetime. Previously only the two world conflicts of the 20th century had led to the technical postponement and then the cancellation of the Games.

The Covid-19 pandemic “threatens all of humanity,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday, launching a “Global Humanitarian Response Plan” extending through December, with a call for donations up to $ 2 billion.

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