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Olympics cancellation not far-fetched — Muto

Published:Wednesday | July 21, 2021 | 12:12 AM
The Olympic Stadium, in Tokyo, Japan.
The Olympic Stadium, in Tokyo, Japan.

Tokyo Olympics Organising Committee head Toshiro Muto says that it is still possible that the Games could still be cancelled, three days before its start.

Muto, who made the comments yesterday, says that it could happen if COVID-19 infections rise significantly.

“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 at a news conference.

“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.”

But International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach disagrees and says the Games must go ahead.

“The IOC never abandons the athletes,” Bach said. “Cancellation would have been the easy way for us. We could have drawn on the insurance that we had at the time and moved on to Paris 2024 (the next Olympic Games).

“But in fact, cancellation was never an option for us.

“In order to arrive at this day today, we had to give confidence. We had to show a way out of this crisis. We had to provide stability. We had to build trust. We had to give hope.”

Bach says that there have been scepticism during the planning of the Games, but that the organisers have done their best to inspire confidence in its safe occurrence.