Kolkata, While the position of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has not changed over hosting the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as per schedule, it is “addressing” the challenges faced with the qualification system in a number of disciplines, as the corovirus outbreak has virtually stalled the sporting world.
“The position of the IOC has not changed. With 19 weeks before the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the many measures being taken now by authorities all around the world give us confidence and keep us fully committed to delivering Olympic Games that can bring the world together in peace,” IOC media relations team told IANS.
“The IOC is proud of the solidarity and flexibility shown by the athletes, the International Federations and the National Olympic Committees, which are managing challenges with the qualification system in a number of sports.
“We are addressing them together. The IOC is cooperating closely with all those concerned and demonstrating all the flexibility needed to adapt the qualification systems. We are also working with all other stakeholders (including Rights-Holding Broadcasters and sponsors) in order to address the current situation.”
The Tokyo 2020 qualification process has already been hard hit due to number of events being postponed. On Monday, the Olympic boxing qualifying meet in London was called off midway through the third day of action due to concerns over growing coronavirus crisis and the impact on athletes’ travel arrangements, throwing the qualification process into further chaos.
The Lausanne-based IOC is set to have emergency talks on Tuesday as doubts grow over whether it is feasible to hold the Games during the coronavirus outbreak which has brought world sport to a grinding halt.
Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and IOC chief Thomas Bach have been adamant that preparations should continue as scheduled even as the virus scare intensifies.
“We remain in close contact with the World Health Organization (WHO), the host city of Tokyo, the government of Japan and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee through our joint task force, which was set up in mid-February. The IOC will continue to follow the advice of WHO, as the leading United Nations agency on this topic,” the media relations team further added.
The IOC is also due to meet officials from national Olympic committees and sports federations on Tuesday to discuss qualification procedures for the Games.
Meanwhile, Kozo Tashima, president of the Japan Football Association (JFA) and also a Japanese Olympic Committee vice president, tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday.