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Plans For A Possible Delay Of Olympics Being Formulated By Tokyo Organizers: Reuters


Plans For A Possible Delay Of Olympics Being Formulated By Tokyo Organizers: Reuters
While the Japanese government has taken a stance of not postponing the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games, organizers of the games have started drafting possible alternatives of shifting the Olympics this summer, reported the news agency Reuters citing two sources familiar with the talks.
The Japanese government has been steadfast in saying that the Games will go on even though the worldwide spreading o the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted sports events all across the world.
Tokyo wasn’t preparing for postponement, a top top government spokesman had said on Wednesday.
The Games is very critical for the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his legacy as Japan’s longest-serving head and the government is hoping that its economy will get a boost from tourism and consumer spending during the Games. Postponing the Games or cancelling them altogether because of the virus pandemic could put at risk more than $3 billion in domestic sponsorship - which is a record for the Games, as well as the $12 billion that has already been spent on the preparations for the Olympics.
“Finally, we have been asked to make a simulation in case of a postponement,” reported Reuters quoting one of the sources within the organising committee and one who was also involved in drafting the eventualities. The report did not name any of the sources because of confidentiality reasons.
“We are making alternative plans - plan B, C, D - looking at different postponement time-frames,” Reuters quoted one of the officials as saying who also added that the drafted scenarios also included the various cost estimates for different delays.
No official comment on the issue was available from the Tokyo 2020 organisers as well as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the government of Japan.
The report claimed that the organising committee would be holding a meeting on the issue at the end of March where discussions will be held about the various options such as scaling back the Games or holding them without the presence of any spectator.
The scenarios also included postponing the Games for about a year or two, reported Reuters quoting the second source, who is also close to the Tokyo 2020 organising committee.
The official involved in drafting the scenarios also reportedly said that some of the organising staff was also holding out hope that the Games can be delayed only for a month or 45 days.
While the final decision will be taken by the IOC, the view point of the Japanese government will also be taken into account. 
Games will go ahead as planned, the IOC and its chief, Thomas Bach, has said which has been criticized by a host of athletes who say that holding the Games on schedule will be a health risk for them.
The Reuters reported that similar concerns were echoed by two other senior members of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee with one of the sources who is also a board member of the organizing committee saying that the IOC should be quick to take a decision on postponement of the Games.
“The more they push the decision away ... more and more preparations have to be made - this will cause cancellation fees to go through the roof,” the board member said.

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