In a statement on Thursday International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach confirmed that the authorities are not leaning on a ‘plan B’, or any possibility of postponement of the upcoming international sporting events in Tokyo. The Olympic games 2020, after being postponed on account of the pandemic are scheduled to begin on July 23 this year.
In an interview with Kyodo News, Bach repeatedly affirmed the IOC’s belief in conducting the games in a safe manner.
“We have at this moment, no reason whatsoever to believe that the Olympic Games in Tokyo will not open on the 23rd of July. This is why there is no plan B and this is why we are fully committed to make these games safe and successful,” Bach told Kyodo News.
With public support in Japan reported as low as around 80% of respondents favouring either a further delay or outright cancellation, the organisers have been standing under monsoon clouds of doubt. Tokyo organisers have produced a raft of safety measures they say will allow the Games to go ahead, even if the pandemic is not under control, and without requiring vaccinations, AFP reports.
With merely six months left for the event Tokyo 2020’s CEO Toshiro Muto told AFP this week that organisers were “unwavering” in their commitment to holding the Games this summer and that cancellation had not been discussed. But he conceded he could not guarantee the stands would be full, or rule out the possibility of a Games held without spectators.
A decision on whether foreign fans will be able to attend, and how many spectators will be possible, is expected this spring, AFP added.
Along with the hosting spectators for the events, there are question marks around a full fledged participation too. The ongoing Thailand Open saw shuttlers from China and Japan pull out.
The Games are due to open on July 23, with the nationwide torch relay scheduled to kick off in late March.