Postponing the Olympics over the coronavirus pandemic may become “inevitable”, Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe conceded Monday, after the International Olympic Committee said a delay was being considered as pressure grows from athletes and sports bodies.
On Monday, Abe told parliament that Japan was still committed to hosting a “complete” Games, but added: “If that becomes difficult, in light of considering athletes first, it may become inevitable that we make a decision to postpone.
“Cancellation is not an option,” Abe said, echoing comments from IOC chief Thomas Bach, who ruled out scrapping the Games, saying it “would not solve any problem and would help nobody”.
A decision should come “within the next four weeks”, the body added.
“Human lives take precedence over everything, including the staging of the Games,” Bach wrote in an open letter to athletes.