The COVID-19 pandemic has meant the cancellation of many beloved events. For those of us who work in the technology industry, the cancelled Mobile World Congress 2020 (MWC) was certainly a kick in the teeth, while the global economy is reeling from the impact of the coronavirus and the number of countries in lockdown as a result.
Most major sporting leagues have also been suspended, including the English Premier League, the Spanish La Liga, and of course, the Serie A. Now, the organisers of the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are considering the effects of potentially postponing the quadrennial sporting event.
On the 22nd of March, Tokyo 2020 organisers discussed potential outcomes for the Olympics—including postponement of the Games. However, a final decision has not been made at this juncture; the complex nature of the multi-sport, iconic event means that discussions will only come to an end within the next 4 weeks.
“Cancellation of the Tokyo 2020 Games is not on the agenda.”
Organisers maintain that Tokyo 2020 will not be cancelled, although the IOC Executive Board will work in “full coordination” with the Japanese authorities on the matter. Instead, the organisers will “monitor infection trends”, and work on multiple plans for different scenarios.
But calls for the Games to be postponed have grown in volume. The British Olympic Association (BOA) have recently “demanded” for a postponement, while Canada and Australia have also decided not to send athletes to the Games even if it isn’t postponed.
Meanwhile, a long-time member of the International Olympic Committee, Dick Pound, has told USA Today that Tokyo 2020 is indeed postponed. While the “parameters going forward” haven’t been finalised, the veteran committee member expects the ramifications of the postponement to be “immense”.
And these very ramifications may be the reason why we’re having to wait for an official decision, one way or the other. BBC spoke to a sports lawyer who explained that the party that cancels the event might be vulnerable to a potential breach-of-contract situation—which might be why everyone is so hesitant to pull the trigger.
As of now, it appears that the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be postponed, although it is still possible that the Games might be cancelled (regardless of what organisers are saying). The scheduling conflicts of the Olympics, made worse by qualifying events held all over the world, would mean that a postponement would be very difficult—but not impossible.
[ IMAGE SOURCE ]