Coronavirus pandemic postpones Tokyo Olympics to 2021

Sporting News

The 2020 Summer Olympics, scheduled to be held in Tokyo in July, have been postponed a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The International Olympic Committee confirmed the move on Tuesday following discussions between its president Thomas Bach, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Games' organizers.

It means that for the first time since the World War II, the Olympic Games will not go ahead on schedule.

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The spread of COVID-19 has halted sport across the globe and it had become apparent that a start date of July 24 for the Olympic Games was too close for comfort.

A statement issued by the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 organising committee read: In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO [World Health Organisation], the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.

The IOC statement came shortly after Mr Abe's office tweeted to announce the news.

"After his telephone talks with IOC President Bach, PM Abe spoke to the press and explained that the two have agreed that the Tokyo Olympic Games would not be cancelled, and the games will be held by the summer of 2021," the tweet read.

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