The Tokyo 2020 Olympics could be delayed or cancelled after Japan declared a one-month state of emergency for the country’s capital.
“I can’t be certain because the ongoing elephant in the room would be the surges in the virus,” Dick Pound, a member of the International Olympic Committee, said.
Japan declared a state-of-emergency in Tokyo following a drastic rise in coronavirus cases in which consecutive daily records were set.
Concerns have also cropped up about the spread of the new, more infectious strain of the virus.
The state-of-emergency was announced with less than 200 days to go until the summer games, but the IOC is hopeful that the measure will allow for the event to be carried out.
“This declaration offers an opportunity for Tokyo 2020 to plan for a safe and secure Games this summer,” it said.
A recent poll indicated that the majority of the Japanese general public are opposed to holding the Games in 2021, with some calling for an outright cancellation of the event.
Another issue remains about the whether athletes will be vaccinated by the time the Games are set to take place (23rd July and 8th August), with Pound adding that they should be high up on the priority list.
“Athletes are important role models, and by taking the vaccine they can send a powerful message that vaccination is not only about personal health, but also about solidarity and consideration for the wellbeing of others in their communities,” he said.
The Games were already postponed by a year, from the summer of 2020 to the summer of 2021, leaving many Olympic-aspiring Maltese athletes heartbroken.
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