Tokyo 2020 Games could be postponed due to deadly coronavirus says Japan's Olympic minister

Security guards wear face masks as Olympic and Paralympic signs are displayed in Tokyo (PA Images)
Security guards wear face masks as Olympic and Paralympic signs are displayed in Tokyo (PA Images)
15:01pm, Tue 03 Mar 2020
CBAD8A00-D2B9-4E0E-ADDF-D0366C357A34 Created with sketchtool. E9A4AA46-7DC3-48B8-9CE2-D75274FB8967 Created with sketchtool. 65CCAE04-4748-4D0F-8696-A91D8EB3E7DC Created with sketchtool.

Japan's Olympic minister has announced that the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games could be postponed until later in the year amid fears surrounding the spread of coronavirus.

Seiko Hashimoto said the city's contract with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) 'calls for the Games to be held within 2020' meaning they must still take place this year but could be moved from the summer to a time when the virus presents less of a risk.

She said this clause 'could be interpreted as allowing a postponement'.

The games are currently scheduled to take place between July 24 and August 9 and Hashimoto added: "We are doing all we can to ensure that the Games go ahead as planned."

Last week IOC President Thomas Bach said they are 'fully committed' to the event going ahead as, and when, planned.

Under the hosting agreement, the IOC, rather than the Tokyo 2020 organisers, hold the right to cancel the games.

A large number of sporting events have already been cancelled including Olympic qualifying events, April's Chinese grand prix, and the 2020 World Athletics Indoor Athletics Championships.

No date has yet been announced as to when a decision will be made regarding the games.

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