Pressure to move Tokyo Olympics to 2021 mounts

The International Olympic Committee acknowledged on Sunday that it was considering a postponement of the 2020 Summer Olympics scheduled to be played in Tokyo and other Japanese venues.

The move reflects the reality of the worsening novel coronavirus pandemic around the world. When the possibility of a postponement was first breached, it was because of the outbreak in Japan. But the total number of cases in Japan stood on Sunday at only 1,772, many of them from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

The Olympic torch arrived in northern Japan last week, drawing thousands of viewers.

In a letter to athletes on Sunday, IOC president Thomas Bach ruled out canceling the Games altogether but said a decision on alternative ways to stage the Olympics would be made within the next four weeks after discussions with key stakeholders, including Japanese organizers and international governing bodies.

"Together with all the stakeholders, we have started detailed discussions today to complete our assessment of the rapid development of the worldwide health situation and its impact on the Olympic Games, including a scenario of postponement," Bach wrote in the letter. "We are working very hard, and we are confident that we will have finalized these discussions within the next four weeks."

In a statement issued after Bach's letter was published, the Canadian Olympic Committee said it won't send teams to the Olympics unless they were postponed to 2021. The Australian committee said its athletes couldn't be assembled and prepared for a fall 2020 competition.

USA Swimming and USA Track and Field, the two most important U.S. governing bodies within the Olympic movement, have called for the Olympics to be postponed.

The U.S. women's national team has already qualified for the Olympics from Concacaf along with Canada. The U.S. under-23 men were training in Guadalajara, Mexico, when Concacaf postponed its qualifying competition.

Olympic men's soccer features 16 teams. The two Concacaf qualifiers are the last entrants to be decided.

Two of the 12 women's entrants remain to be determined: the winners of series between China and South Korea and Cameroon and Chile.

Olympic soccer is scheduled to be played in seven venues across Japan.
5 comments about "Pressure to move Tokyo Olympics to 2021 mounts".
  1. beautiful game, March 23, 2020 at 8:08 a.m.

    IOC remains handcuffed to the almighty revenue stream. Brain dead Bach will decide that TV revenue is better than spectators.

  2. Bob Ashpole replied, March 23, 2020 at 1:43 p.m.

    My thoughts exactly.

  3. Michael Taddonio, March 23, 2020 at 10:43 a.m.

     Beautiful Game:  I agree with you 100%.  To be honest, all of the sports have become handcuffed to getting money from TV and other sources. The United States professional sports leagues are prime examples of this.  It would be better if the Olympics, both winter and summer, weren't held anymore. It is a very, very different from 1896 when the Olympics were revived. There are world championships in nearly every sport. The sport of golf could easily have a world championship.  The Davis Cup is tennis' world championship. The decline in the number of cities bidding for the Olympics is an indicator of the fact that these cities do not want to shell out the cash to put on the Olympic Games. In many of the cities where the Olympic Games, the facilities that have been built for the games aren't used and are or have fallen to waste. Rio de Janeiro is a prime example of this.  Of course, politics is a factor in this. The countries and cities where the Olympics have been held use that as a status symbol.  People have been displaced from their homes because the cities that host the Olympics want the city to look proper. Homeless people have been sent out of the cities where the Olympics have been held because they are deemed undesirable.   I hope that this stops. Priorities need to be changed.

  4. beautiful game replied, March 23, 2020 at 12:07 p.m.

    Profits and its priorities have become the center of gravity for IOC and FIFA, et al. They are managed by corrupt officials. These sporting organizations have succumbed to be precious tools in global politics. Political leaders in numerous countries utilize their revenue capacity to directly influence and shape IOC & FIFA agendas behind closed doors. IOC and FIFA are pawns of in this corrupt revolving door partnership with  GOs. It is long overdue that the two gobal sporting organization giants enter into a restructuring and reinvention mode in order to promote safety first doctrine for its athletes and global growth & exposure for the right reasons while promoting a transparent revenue stream audit for public review. Isn't it ironic that both organizations mentioned have been using the global media platforms in ad nauseum to applaud itself for not having political involvement when in fact their exposed track record of corruption speaks otherwise.

  5. Michael Taddonio, March 23, 2020 at 1:04 p.m.

    Beautiful Game.  You are 100 correct!

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