The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is confident the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will go ahead, despite the coronavirus outbreak.
“We are preparing for a successful Olympic Games, Tokyo 2020,” IOC head Thomas Bach said.
The governing body is so confident the Tokyo Games will run as planned that it is refusing to create a ‘plan B’.
IOC spokesperson Mark Adams earlier told reporters the committee has not discussed other options if the situation in Tokyo does become untenable.
“There is no international travel ban and all the advice that we are getting is that the Games can and will go ahead,” Adams said.
The IOC is also encouraging athletes to continue preparing as normal, despite the global concerns.
Despite many factors pointing towards the possibility of a cancelled Games, according to Japan’s Olympics minister Seiko Hashimoto, there is in fact a loophole in the contract which would allow the games to be postponed until the end of the year.
However, the logistics of rescheduling an event of that scale would be near impossible.
According to the World Health Organisation’s most recent situation update, there are 268 confirmed coronavirus cases in Japan, which have so far resulted in three deaths.
Local top-flight football league the J-League has now been called off until mid-March, while local Super Rugby team the Sunwolves have made the decision to base themselves in Australia for the coming weeks.
Despite the defiance, the IOC does at least have a financial backup if the Games is to be cancelled.
The IOC has set aside around $1 billion to reimburse broadcasters and partners in the case of a cancellation.
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