2021 Olympic Games 'no guarantee' says organising committee chief

2020 Olympic Games rings
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

The chief executive of the Tokyo Organising Committee, Toshiro Muto, has admitted that there is no guarantee that the postponed Olympic Games will be held in July of 2021, according to a report in the Guardian.

In March, the Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe and IOC president Thomas Bach agreed to postpone the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, Muto has suggested that it is too soon to know if the pandemic will be under control by then.

"I don’t think anyone would be able to say if it is going to be possible to get [the pandemic] under control by next July or not. We’re certainly not in a position to give a clear answer," Muto said in the Guardian report.

"We have made the decision to postpone the Games by one year. So this means all we can do is work hard to prepare for the Games. We sincerely hope that come next year mankind will manage to overcome the coronavirus crisis."

It was reported earlier this week that events such as Wimbledon and British Open, that have been cancelled due to the coronavirus, had bought pandemic-related insurance and so will receive policy payments that will partially cover their losses.

Muto also said that he didn't know if the Tokyo Organising Committee's range of insurances would cover losses due to the current pandemic. 

"Tokyo 2020 has taken out several insurance policies, but whether the postponement of the Games qualifies as an event that is covered is not clear yet."

In the meantime, according to AP News, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has considered and discussed the possibility of occupying the Olympic Games' Athletes Village buildings with patients being treated for COVID-19 symptoms. The vacant buildings were intended to house roughly 11,000 athletes and staff during the Olympic Games and 4,400 for the Paralympics.

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Kirsten Frattini
Women's Editor

Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in cycling from the community and grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all men's and women's races including Spring Classics, Grand Tours, World Championships and Olympic Games, and writes and edits news and features. As the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten also coordinates and oversees the global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.