Olympics nonetheless ‘enterprise as normal’ regardless of coronavirus outbreak – Pound

The brand new Tokyo Olympic Stadium would be the centrepiece of the 2020 Video games

Preparations for the Tokyo Olympics are “enterprise as normal” regardless of the outbreak of coronavirus, based on Worldwide Olympic Committee member Dick Pound.

Various sporting occasions in China have been cancelled, with soccer in Italy additionally affected.

Talking to Related Press, Pound advised athletes to “maintain focussed in your sport”.

“So far as everyone knows, you are going to be in Tokyo,” he stated.

The outbreak in China has already led to the cancellation of April’s Chinese language Grand Prix, and instances in Italy led to the postponement of 4 Serie A video games final weekend and the choice to play 5 behind closed doorways this weekend.

Inter Milan’s Europa League last-32 dwelling match in opposition to Ludogorets might be performed behind closed doorways on Thursday, whereas organisers of the Six Nations are “monitoring very intently” the coronavirus state of affairs, with Italy set to host England and Eire within the coming weeks.

Japan’s J-League has postponed all home soccer matches till the center of March, whereas the Tokyo Marathon on 1 March will now be for elite athletes solely as an alternative of being a mass participation occasion.

With the Olympics as a result of start on 24 July, Pound stated any resolution on whether or not the Video games will go forward doesn’t must be taken till late Might.

“You possibly can actually go to 2 months out when you needed to,” the 77-year-old Canadian stated. “A number of issues have to start out taking place. You have to begin ramping up your safety, your meals, the Olympic Village, the resorts, the media of us might be in there constructing their studios.

“That is the brand new struggle and it’s a must to face it. In and round that point, I would say of us are going to must ask: ‘Is that this beneath ample management that we will be assured about going to Tokyo, or not?'”

Pound defined that the IOC might be led by selections taken by the World Well being Group (WHO) and particular person nationwide governments.

“We’re fairly good at coping with sport issues, however a pandemic is past our pay grade,” he advised BBC Radio 5 dwell.

“It’ll depend upon the WHO to make a name with respect to worldwide journey and the locations that must be prevented. It might come all the way down to a authorities intervention in Japan, or different governments saying ‘we do not need our residents travelling there’.”

Pound stated that cancelling the Video games is a “worst-case state of affairs” and that different contingencies, resembling a postponement, and even dispersing occasions throughout the globe, could also be already be into consideration.

“We have now to consider alternate options,” he stated. “Might you continue to maintain them this yr? We’d converse with the Japanese authorities to ask them if this ‘bubble’ will be held in place.

“Every thing is on the desk. You possibly can disperse the Video games, for instance have some occasions in Canada, some in Britain, and many others.”

In a press release, an IOC spokesman stated Pound had defined “very properly” the present standing of preparations for the Video games.

The assertion continued: “Tokyo 2020 will proceed to collaborate with all related organisations which rigorously monitor any incidence of infectious illnesses and can evaluate any countermeasures that could be obligatory with all related organisations. As well as, the IOC is in touch with the World Well being Group, in addition to its personal medical consultants.

“We have now full confidence that the related authorities, particularly in Japan and China, will take all the required measures to handle the state of affairs. The remainder is theory.”


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