Coronavirus: Tokyo 2020 cancellation not on the agenda - IOC president Bach
- IOC president Thomas Bach admitted different scenarios for the Olympics are being reviewed, but cancellation is not on the table.
Thomas Bach says cancelling Tokyo 2020 is not on the agenda, though the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is reviewing different scenarios for the upcoming Games.
While the majority of sports across the globe have been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, organisers of the Olympics have remained adamant it will get underway on July 24 as scheduled.
Japan was expected to be heavily affected by the proliferation of COVID-19 due to its proximity to China, where the virus originated.
However, of the 209,839 cases of infection confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO), just 873 have come in Japan. The country has seen 29 deaths.
IOC president Bach believes it is still possible for the Olympics to go ahead.
"We are not putting the cancellation of the Games on the agenda," Bach said in an interview with the New York Times. "We are committed to the success of these Games
"We don't know what the situation will be. Of course, we are considering different scenarios, but we are contrary to many other sports organisations or professional leagues in that we are four and a half months away from the Games.
"What makes this crisis so unique and so difficult to overcome is the uncertainty. Nobody today can tell you what the developments are tomorrow, what they are in one month, not to mention in more than four months."
Relive the historic moment the Olympic flame landed in Japan. #Tokyo2020— #Tokyo2020 (@Tokyo2020) March 20, 2020
A symbol of hope and recovery, the flame has started its Japanese journey by landing in one of the areas most affected by the earthquake of 2011.
#OlympicTorchRelay begins on the 26 March. pic.twitter.com/TN2SQf9y6m
Bach insisted the health of all those involved in Tokyo 2020 will take priority over any financial interests when it comes to making decisions about the event.
He said: "We have established this clear principle, that we are acting responsibly. It is first and foremost about protecting the health of everyone involved and to support the containment of the virus.
"Second, the decision of the IOC will not be determined by any financial interest. Thanks to our risk management policies that have been in place for four years and our insurance, the IOC in any case will be able to continue operations and continue to accomplish our mission.
"The 206 national Olympic committees and the international sports federations expressed that the world in this extremely difficult and concerning situation needs a symbol of hope.
"So for us, while not knowing how long this tunnel will be, we would like the Olympic flame to be a light at the end of the tunnel."Published 20 Mar 2020, 19:16 IST