Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will hold a phone call with International Olympic Committee (IOC) President at 4:30pm (IST) on March 24 as calls for postponement of 2020 Tokyo Olympics grows stronger in the wake of coronavirus pandemic. Abe will talk to Thomas Bach after the latter hinted at a possible postponement of the global event with rising cases of coronavirus across the world.
On March 22, IOC’s executive board announced that the committee will step up its scenario planning for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The board emphasised that cancellation is not the agenda as it would not solve any of the problems or help anybody. However, it said that IOC will start detailed discussions to complete its assessment of the evolving health crisis worldwide and its impact on the Olympic Games, including the scenario of postponement.
After the board meeting, Bach wrote a letter to the global athlete community to provide them with an explanation of the IOC’s approach. Calling it an unprecedented crisis, IOC president said that they have made it their leading principle to safeguard the health of everyone involved and to contribute to containing the virus.
Bach acknowledged the tremendous uncertainty around the global health crisis and said that it “rocks our nerves and raises or strengthens doubts about a positive future”. He added that nobody at this moment can really make fully reliable statements about the duration of this fight against the virus.
“Therefore also the IOC can unfortunately not answer all your questions. This is why we are relying on the advice of a Task Force including the World Health Organization (WHO).” wrote the IOC president.
IOC’s statement has hinted at the possible postponement of the event which was earlier denied by the Japanese Prime Minister and other authorities related to the Olympic Games. Abe had told the G7 leaders that Japan is doing everything in power to prepare for the games and they want to aim for a complete event as proof that “mankind can defeat the new coronavirus”.