IOC to help national committees weather Olympic delay financial hit

Tokyo, Apr 16 (efe-epa).- The International Olympic Committee on Thursday said it would help sporting federations and national committees affected by a fall in funding resulting from the decision to delay the Tokyo 2020 Games to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

IOC coordinator, Australian John Coates, said the committee would not stand by to let international federations and national committees collapse but said there would have to be cost-cutting.

“We’ll be exploring all opportunities to optimize and streamline the service levels at the Games and reduce the costs that have been caused by the postponement,” he told a press conference in Tokyo via videolink.

“Let me stress in this regard that nothing will impact on the quality of the competition level.

“All of the athletes’ service will remain the same but there must be other areas of hosting the Games, where we can look at and decide, what are the ‘must-haves’ and what are the ‘nice-to-haves’.”

He said the IOC was optimistic the Tokyo Games could go ahead in the summer of 2021 thanks to the measures taken by the Japanese government in coordination with recommendations from the World Health Organization.

He said the IOC and the Japanese organizers had opted to delay the Games by a year — rather than reschedule for the spring of 2021 — to allow for ample time to leave the coronavirus pandemic behind.

Coates said the Committee would continue to analyze the situation to ensure the safety of the athletes and the general public.

The IOC and the Tokyo Olympics organizers are trying to ensure that the delayed Games go ahead as originally intended, including the maintenance of broadcasting rights, the dates of sporting events and the Olympic Village.

Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto said work was underway with proprietors and construction companies to ensure that all the venues set up to host the Games could be used in the same way next year, although added there had been no fixed conclusion so far.

The Tokyo Olympics are due to start on 23 July 2021 and finish on 8 August, exactly a year after they were initially set to be held.

The Paralympic Games will be held between 24 August-5 September.EFE=EPA


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