(Reuters) – A round-up of reaction to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announcing it is considering postponing the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, while ruling out cancelling the Games.
Nigel Huddleston, UK sports minister
“It is right that the IOC seriously considers postponing the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The health and safety of athletes, sports fans and officials due to work at the Games is absolutely paramount. We would welcome the IOC making a definitive decision soon, to bring clarity to all those involved.”
Andrew Parsons, president of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC)
“The IPC and I am certain, the whole Paralympic Movement, fully support the IOC’s decision to look into the potential scenarios regarding the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, including postponement.
“Human life is much more important than anything at all, and currently it is vital that everyone, including athletes, stay at home to help prevent the further spread of this horrible disease which is impacting the global community.”
“World Athletics welcomes discussions with the IOC to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and wrote to the IOC earlier today to relay this feedback from its Area Presidents, Council and athletes.
“We stand ready to work with the IOC and all sport on an alternative date.”
Hugh Robertson, chairman British Olympic Association (BOA)
“We welcome the IOC Executive Board decision to review the options in respect of a postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. However, we urge rapid decision-making for the sake of athletes who still face significant uncertainty.
“Restrictions now in place have removed the ability of athletes to compete on a level playing field and it simply does not seem appropriate to continue on the present course towards the Olympic Games in the current environment.”
Dame Katherine Grainger, Chair of UK Sport
“Given the circumstances, today’s news that the IOC are looking at options to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympics was inevitable, and the correct decision for the safety of athletes, staff and fans.”
International Golf Federation (IGF)
“The IGF remains committed to supporting the IOC and Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee to delivering the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and will work with them over the coming weeks at investigating all scenarios that will enable safe and fair competitions for our athletes.”
Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Christian Radnedge and Daniel Wallis