Olympics chief refuses to rule out cancelling Tokyo games due to Covid
The Olympics could very well be cancelled
Toshiro Muto, head of the organising committee for the Tokyo Olympics, was asked whether the Olympics could still be called off due to a rise in Covid cases and Japan declaring a state of emergency.
"We can't predict what will happen with the number of coronavirus cases. So we will continue discussions if there is a spike in cases,' Muto said.
"We have agreed that based on the coronavirus situation, we will convene five-party talks again. At this point, the coronavirus cases may rise or fall, so we will think about what we should do when the situation arises."
The news arrives as the number of Covid cases linked to the Games rose to 71. With reports of infections in Athletes' Village, two more sponsors announced they will not be sending representatives to the Opening Ceremony due to local criticism.
— IGC NEWS INTERNATIONL (@NewsIgc) July 20, 2021
This comes days after Olympic organisers said that the village was the "safest place in Tokyo".
“The athletes have to have confidence in the safety of that," said Joan Coates, an IOC official.
“The athletes, once their competition finishes, will have one day, two days and then they will go home,”
“The period of staying longer, in a village, increases the potential for problems.”
I wonder if the Olympics will survive.
Covid is spreading like crazy over there.
— Elton Welsby (@WelsbyElton) July 20, 2021
"Athletes who are coming to Japan are probably very worried. I understand that," said Games chief Seiko Hashimoto.
"That is the reason why we need to make full disclosure.
"We are doing everything to prevent any Covid outbreaks. If we end up with an outbreak we will make sure we have a plan in place to respond."
Over 11,000 athletes are said to be going to the "safest place" which calls into question just how safe the area could really be. With no spectators currently allowed and cases on the rise, could the Olympics be cancelled for yet another year?