TOKYO (NEWS 1130) – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is clamping down on reports their marquee event, the Tokyo Summer Games, won’t go ahead as planned in Japan this year.
The IOC released a statement Friday quoting the Japanese Government, saying reports “claiming the Government of Japan has privately concluded that the Tokyo Olympics will have to be cancelled” are “categorically untrue.”
IOC statement on media reports regarding Tokyo 2020 pic.twitter.com/647pj5mx9U
— IOC MEDIA (@iocmedia) January 22, 2021
The games have already been postponed once because of the COVID-19 pandemic. More questions were raised this week when the Times of London released their report citing a senior member of the ruling coalition.
The IOC says it’s committed to delivering safe and secure games, with the Opening Ceremony slated to take place at Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium on July 23. This statement comes amid a backdrop that sees the seven day rolling average of new COVID-19 cases in Tokyo hovering around 6,000 per day.
Recent polling figures in Japan suggest about 80 per cent of respondents are in favour of postponing the Games, or cancelling them altogether.
Senior IOC member Richard Pound suggested this week the Games could be made into a made-for-TV event. The IOC gets about 73 per cent of its income from the sale of broadcast rights.
IOC President Thomas Bach told Japan’s Kyodo News Agency this week organizers were in a better position to hold the Olympics now than they were 10 months ago.
“We have at this moment, no reason whatsoever to believe that the Olympic Games in Tokyo will not open on the 23rd of July in the Olympic stadium in Tokyo,” Bach said Thursday, adding there is “no Plan B.”
The IOC is set to meet again Jan. 27.