The leaders of the International Olympic Committee have told several times in the last few weeks that the Olympic Games in Tokyo would be held as it was planned (July 24 –August 9th).
But the global sports calendar has been thrown down because of efforts to control the spread of coronavirus. Many qualification competitions for the Tokyo Games have been postponed. It’s uncertain when the qualification process will be finished. The last postponed competition was the European Qualification Tournament in boxing, which started in London on Saturday and it was planned to run until March 24th. But, today, IOC decided to suspend the tournament, which was closed after today’s evening session.
Thomas Bach, the IOC’s president, said on Thursday that his organization would follow the recommendations of the World Health Organisation regarding a possible postponement.
In the next two days, the IOC will hold two important meetings about the upcoming Olympic Games.
The International Olympic Committee will have a telephone meeting with the leaders of the international sport federations on Tuesday. According to unofficial sources, the changes in the qualifying process for the Olympic Games will be a focus of Tuesday’s meeting. The IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell has already discussed changes to qualifications with various international sporting federations.
After the latest decision made by FINA, the Women’s Water Polo World Olympic Qualification Tournament will take place in Trieste in the second half of May (17th – 24th), while the men’s tournament in Rotterdam is postponed to May 31st – June 7th. But, during April, the FINA COVID-19 Taskforce will review the situation about both tournaments.
On Wednesday, the IOC will hold talks with heads of the national Olympic committees.
The Local Organizing Committee has repeated several times that preparations are going on for the Games to be held as planned. On Saturday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that he saw no immediate need to declare a state of emergency and that Japan would make preparations to hold the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics as scheduled.
Last month, Dick Pound, a former IOC vice president, said that the end of May is a possible deadline for the IOC to postpone the Tokyo Olympics.
John Coates, the chairman of the IOC’s coordination commission for the Tokyo Olympics said today there is no May deadline to cancel the planned start of the Games. He remains confident the event will go ahead despite the coronavirus outbreak.
Coates, the IOC vice president and head of the Australian Olympic Committee, told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper in a telephone interview from Switzerland that the IOC didn’t recognize the deadline and he thought Pound had backed away from it.
-It’s never been the IOC’s position. It was Dick’s idea. There are four months to go. – Coates said today.