The Tokyo 2020 Olympics are going ahead, organisers said Wednesday, even as the government called for major events in the coming weeks to be postponed, cancelled or scaled back over the new coronavirus.
The fate of the Summer Games has been in the spotlight as the outbreak of COVID-19 forces the cancellation and delays in Japan of everything from football matches to the rituals that mark the opening of the March sumo tournament.
But organisers have been at pains to insist that Olympics and Paralympics scheduled for the summer are not in danger of being scrapped.
“We have not thought about it. We have not heard about it. We have made inquiries, and we were told there is no such plan,” Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto told reporters.
“Our basic thinking is to conduct the Olympics and Paralympics as planned. That’s our assumption.”
Muto said organisers would consider how to respond to the call from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday for organisers of major events in the next two weeks to cancel, postpone or downsize the gatherings to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“We will make decisions by reviewing events individually,” he said.
But he said the torch relay scheduled to begin March 26 in Fukushima and travel across the country would not be cancelled, though he acknowledged adjustments might be necessary.
“We are absolutely not considering cancelling it. But we will think about how we can hold it in ways that won’t lead to the spread of the virus, including reducing its scale,” he added.
Muto also hit back at coverage of comments by Dick Pound, a member of the International Olympic Committee, who told the Associated Press that a decision on the Games would have to be made in the next two to three months.
“When we consulted with IOC… we were told it was not IOC’s thinking.”
Earlier, Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto also told parliament that the Games were still on track.
“At the IOC review meeting in Tokyo the other day which committee chair John Coates participated, the coronavirus was of course on the agenda,” she told opposition lawmakers.
“At that time, we received a high rating on our preparation for the Tokyo Games, and the IOC offered to continue its support.”
“It is important to prepare considering the worst-case scenario,” she added.
But Hashimoto said her focus now was “simply to end the (virus crisis) at the earliest time possible, to hold the Tokyo Games with a sense of safety, and to get approval from the IOC.”
The Olympics are scheduled to open on July 24, with the Paralympics beginning from August 25.
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AFCON 2021: Africa Should Be Proud Of Comoros, Says Drogba
Chelsea legend, Didier Drogba, has identified Comoros as the team Africa is proud of at the ongoing 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON, in Cameroon.
Drogba said this after Comoros was eliminated from the 2021 AFCON on Monday night.
Recall that Comoros was knocked out of the 2021 AFCON round of 16 tie against host nation Cameroon.
Debutants Comoros fought hard against Cameroon despite receiving a red card during the match.
However, they lost 2-1 against Cameroon.
“Waaah!!! What a team, what COURAGE, Africa is proud of this brave Comorian team @fedcomfootball,” Drogba tweeted.
Comoros had qualified for the AFCON round of 16 after beating Ghana 3-2 in their final group C match, sending the Black Stars back home.
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Super Eagles Must Concentrate On Beating Ghana For 2022 World Cup Ticket, Says Chukwu
Former Super Eagles’ Chief Coach, Christian Chukwu, has urged the Super Eagles to move on with future national assignments after crashing out of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Chukwu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Tuesday that the Super Eagles should put the AFCON competition behind them and focus on qualification for the World Cup in Qatar.
“It is clear that our AFCON trophy chase is over. Let us come home, take stock and plan for our world cup qualifying encounter with Ghana.
“Judging from my personal experience as a player and coach, the boys brought in their best and did their best in the AFCON competition.
“They fought gallantly in each match they played.
“I am not happy with the red card given to Iwobi in the last match played by the Super Eagles as it should be a mere warning. He did not deserve a card at all,” he said.
247 total views, 247 views today
Anthony Joshua Denies Claims He’s Accepted Cash To Allow Tyson Fury Vs Oleksandr Usyk Title Fight
Former British world champion Joshua vouched for a rematch against Oleksandr Usyk after losing the WBA, IBF, and WBO heavyweight belts to the Ukrainian in September 2021.
However, new report reveals Joshua was set to accept a £15m deal to step aside and allow Usyk to fight WBC champion Fury instead for all the belts.
Responding to the speculation, Joshua said on the Undefeated Podcast: ‘You know what’s bad about all these interviews I see? I see interviews that quote what I said, I think to myself, I ain’t done no interviews.
‘Where did this person get this information from? I see people saying “AJ accepts £15m to step aside.”
‘I ain’t signed no contract, I ain’t seen no contract. As it stands, stop listening to the b*t until it comes from me.
‘I’m the man in control of my destiny. I’m the man who handles my business. I’m a smart individual and I make calculated decisions every step of the way.
‘Don’t listen to the bt from other sources. If I tell you something then you know it’s real.’
494 total views, 494 views today
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