Olympic official suggests Games could be postponed one-two years

Riley Morgan
Sports Reporter

The Olympics won’t be cancelled but rather postponed due to coronavirus fears, according to a member of the 2020 Tokyo organising committee said.

Some of the biggest sporting events around the world have been cancelled or postponed due to coronavirus fears with the Italian Football Federation admitting the league may not finish.

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Tennis’ ‘fifth Grand Slam’ Indian Wells was cancelled, while football around the world is being played behind closed doors.

Now with the Olympics just a few months away, Haruyuki Takahashi told the Wall Street Journal the Olympics committee would more likely decide to postpone the games to make sure they take advantage of the financial revenue.

Construction of all new permanent venues for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics is now complete, organisers said on March 6, as preparations continue despite worries over the new coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP) (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

“I don’t think the Games could be canceled. It’d be a delay,” he told the publication.

“The International Olympic Committee would be in trouble if there’s a cancellation. American TV rights alone provide them with a huge amount.”

But last month, International Olympic Committee organising committee president Yoshiro Mori said they were not considering delaying or postponing the Olympics.

“I would like to make it clear again that we are not considering a cancellation or postponement of the games. Let me make that clear,” Mori told IOC officials.

Should a postponement be considered, however, it would cost a pretty penny for NBC. The network, which owns the Olympic broadcasting rights in the United States, announced last week that it has already secured $1.25 billion in advertising revenue ahead of The Games.

While money plays a significant role in decisions, it should be noted that the spread of the coronavirus has already had a significant impact on international sports around the world.

In Japan, preseason baseball games have been played at empty stadiums. Officials of Nippon Professional Baseball announced Monday that the season, originally scheduled to open on March 20, will not get underway until some time in April at the earliest.

Italian football disaster mooted

The coronavirus crisis could be set to wreak even more chaos on Italy, according to the country’s football chiefs.

The Italian football federation (FIGC) admitted on Tuesday that the Serie A season might not finish because of the outbreak of the deadly virus.

The FIGC confirmed in a statement that Serie A would stop until at least April 3 following a government decree issued on Monday and said that its president Gabriele Gravina had put forward several alternatives in case the championship could not be concluded.

One possibility would be to have play-offs to decide the title and relegation to Serie B, the statement said.

A second would be to declare the current standings to be final - which would result in Juventus winning the title - and a third would be to not have a champion side this season.

With Reuters