Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe insists the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will go ahead as planned in the wake of multiple sporting events all over the world being cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The outbreak of COVID-19 around the world has led to several sporting bodies taking the decision to postpone events for the foreseeable future.
There will be no football matches from the Premier League, La Liga, Ligue 1 and La Liga until at least April while Formula One’s season isn’t expected to get underway until May among other sports.
There have been more than 140,000 people infected with coronavirus across the globe with over 5,400 killed.
The fear is that the virus could spread at a much faster rate at mass gatherings, with sporting events attracting thousands of spectators in a relatively small area.
There are likely to be decisions made on such events as the PGA Championship, French Open and the 2020 European Championships in the coming weeks.
But arguably one of the biggest global events to be taking place this summer is the Tokyo Olympics.
Last month it was reported close to 4.5 million tickets had already been sold to residents in Japan.
However, there have been some calls for the event to potentially be pushed back a year for the coronavirus pandemic to calm down.
US president Donald Trump proposed the idea, stating it would be better to postpone the games until 2021 instead of the Olympics taking place behind closed doors.
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Trump went on to say that he held a productive talk with Japan’s prime minister in regards to the Olympics.
But Abe insists no discussion was held over any possible postponement, stating the games will go ahead as planned.
“We will respond by closely coordinating with officials concerned, including the IOC (International Olympic Committee),” Abe told a news conference.
“There is no change in this.
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“We want to hold the Olympics as planned without any trouble by overcoming the spread of infections.”
He added: “We agreed that Japan and the US will cooperate and closely coordinate for success in the Olympics.”
The athletics calendar has also been affected by the coronavirus outbreak, with the 2020 World Athletics Indoor Championships scheduled for this weekend being cancelled.
World Athletics later announced the championships would be postponed until March next year.
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