A senior official from the London 2012 Olympics said on Wednesday that the Tokyo Olympics look “unlikely” to take place as the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect large parts of the world, reported AFP.
According to Keith Mills, who was deputy chairman of the London 2012 organising committee, Tokyo officials should be making plans to cancel. However, Japanese and International Olympic Committee officials remain adamant that the 2020 Games will go ahead in July and August despite the ongoing health crisis.
Mills told the BBC, “Personally, sitting here, looking at the pandemic around the world, in South America, North America, Africa and Europe, it looks unlikely.”
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He added, “If I were sitting in the shoes of the organisers, I would be making plans for a cancellation and I’m sure they do, but I think they will leave it until absolutely the last minute in case the situation improves dramatically. But it is a tough call.”
While Tokyo and several other parts of Japan have gone under a state of emergency to quash a surge in infections, polls indicate that public support for the Olympics has plunged.
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But World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said he still thought the Games would go ahead.
“I don’t think it will be cancelled,” Coe told Sky News. “It’ll be a challenge, we know. It’s pretty self-evident. There will be adaptations.”
“I think the Games will take place but they will look different,” he added.