cellcard cellcard

‘Last option’ – no Olympic postponement beyond 2021

Jose Senase / Khmer Times Share:
Thomas Bach, Olympics Chief. AFP

Olympics chief Thomas Bach agreed that 2021 was the “last op­tion” for holding the delayed Tokyo Games, stressing that postpone­ment cannot go on forever. Bach said he backed Japan’s stance that the Games will have to be cancelled if the coronavirus pan­demic isn’t under control by next year.

In March, the Tokyo 2020 Olym­pics was postponed to July 23, 2021 due to the coronavirus, which has killed hundreds of thou­sands around the world and halted international sport and travel.

“Quite frankly, I have some understand­ing for Japan’s po­sition because you cannot forever employ 3,000, or 5,000, people in an organising commit­tee,” Bach, presi­dent of the Inter­national Olympic Committee, told the BBC.“You can­not every year change the entire sports schedule worldwide for all the major federa­tions.

“You cannot have the athletes being in uncertain­ty, you cannot have so much overlap­ping with a future Olympic Games.” The IOC leader said it was a “mammoth task” to reorgan­ise the Olympics, which has never been cancelled out­side of the world wars. However, Japanese officials have been clear that they have no intention of post­poning the Games again beyond next year. Bach warned that “nobody knows” how the sit­uation will play out, but said the IOC will act on advice from the World Health Organization.

“We have established one principle, and this is to organise the Games in a safe environment for all the participants,” he said. “Nobody knows what the world will look like in one year or two months from to­day, so we have to rely on (the ex­perts).”- ‘No taboo’ – Bach wouldn’t say whether a vaccine was a prerequisite for going ahead with the Olympics, but was lukewarm on the idea of hold­ing them without fans.

“This is not what we want,” he said. “Because the Olympic spirit is also about uniting the fans and this is what makes the Games so unique that they’re in an Olympic stadium, all the fans from all over the world are together. “But when depends on the outcome of the deliberation. I would ask you to give me some more time for con­sultation with the athletes, with the World Health Or­ganization and with the Japanese partners.”

The IOC has already set aside $800 million to help organisers and sports federa­tions meet the ex­tra costs of a post­poned Olympics. According to the latest budget, the Games were pro­jected to cost $12.6 billion, shared be­tween the organ­ising committee, the government of Japan and Tokyo city.

But Bach said there should be “no taboo” in cutting costs for next year’s Games. “They will definitely be differ­ent, and they have to be different,” he said. “If we all have learned something during this crisis, it is to look to the es­sentials and not so much on the nice-to-have things. So this concentration on the essentials should be reflected in the organisation of these Games. There should be no taboo.

Previous Article

Japan-Cambodia Port Development continues amid pandemic

Next Article

What Minebea will drive Cambodia to in the next five-years?