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Tokyo 2020 Olympics cannot easily be moved and cancellation is unfair, says IOC president Thomas Bach

IOC president: "The Olympic Games cannot be moved like a football game next Saturday [...] a cancellation of the Games would be the least fair solution"

Thomas Bach
Image: Thomas Bach, president of the IOC, says cancelling Tokyo 2020 is the least fair outcome for all parties

Rescheduling the Tokyo 2020 Olympics would need more careful planning than moving a football match but cancelling the Games altogether is the least fair solution, Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) says.

The IOC is facing mounting opposition to the current schedule for the Tokyo 2020 Games as athletes, teams and federations called for a delay because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Bach, who has insisted the Games will go ahead as planned, said any decision to change an Olympic Games was not a simple matter like rescheduling a football match and would need careful planning and information.

"The Olympic Games cannot be moved like a football game next Saturday," he told Germany's SWR broadcaster.

"It is a complex undertaking and you can only act responsibly when you have a clear decision-making foundation."

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He also ruled out cancelling the Games scheduled to take place between July 24 and August 9.

"A cancellation of the Games would be the least fair solution. A cancellation would destroy the Olympic dream of 11,000 athletes of 206 Olympic committees."

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Countries have sealed borders and enforced lockdowns to fight the pandemic. The virus has killed around 13,000 people since surfacing in China at the end of last year.

As the virus triggers more restrictions and claims more victims around the globe, pressure at least to delay the event is increasing.

The chairman of UK Athletics, Nic Coward and USA Track and Field (USATF), the governing body of American athletics, are among the latest to call for a postponement or cancellation of the Games.

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