The suggestion issued by President Donald Trump, about postponing the Olympic Games for a year before the coronavirus pandemic, was immediately dismissed by the Japanese minister in charge of organizing that sporting event.
“Neither the IOC nor the organizing committee contemplate the cancellation or postponement. Absolutely not, ”Seiko Hashimoto, Olympic bronze medalist, said during a press conference in Tokyo.
The IOC (International Olympic Committee) and the organizers of Tokyo 2020 have maintained the same position for three months, when the outbreak of the new virus emerged in China. The disease spread later in Asia and then throughout the world.RELATED
And the insistent message has been: The Olympic Games will open on July 24, as scheduled.
“I just can’t see that there aren’t people there. In other words, don’t let people in, “Trump told reporters at the White House on Thursday. “Maybe, and this is just my idea, this should be suspended for a year.”
Big television networks and sponsors have invested billions of dollars in the Olympic Games. And the saturated international sports calendar seems to leave little room to postpone the jousts for a year.
The idea of running the Games without an audience, or simply canceling them, has slipped, something that has happened only in the World Wars.
“The best thing we can do, so that athletes don’t face confusion or uncertainty, is to put in our best effort,” said Hashimoto, who competed in four Winter Olympics in speed skating. He obtained bronze in 1992 and participated in three summer Olympic editions as a cyclist.
A cancellation or postponement would have countless consequences, affecting sponsors, television, 11,000 Olympic athletes, 4,400 Paralympians, employees, airlines, and hotels. It would imply a loss of 1,000 million dollars in tickets already sold for the different competitions.
And it would affect 80,000 volunteers, who would miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help organize the Games.
There are already several sporting events that have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.This Thursday, FIFA gave rise to a request from the South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) to suspend the first two dates of the South American Playoffs that were due to take place in March. Through a statement signed by the secretary general, Fatma Samoura, the mother house of world football confirmed the postponement of the start of the contest.
The NBA announced Wednesday that it is temporarily suspending the season after a Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus. “The NBA suspends the season after tonight’s games,” the agency said in a statement.
After the abrupt indefinite suspension of the NBA, other leagues and tournaments of American sport followed in their footsteps to shield themselves against the advance of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
In a waterfall of announcements this Thursday, the Miami Tennis Open was suspended by city authorities and American football was postponed, both the MLS league and men’s and women’s national team games, as well as the League of Concacaf Champions.
The South American Confederation made the decision to suspend the Copa Libertadores matches scheduled for the week of March 15-21 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The determination was informed by Conmebol through its social networks, after having sent a letter with the arguments to the participating clubs.
After confirming the positive cases of coronavirus that occurred in Juventus and Real Madrid, UEFA announced that there will be two Champions League games that will be rescheduled.