Lausanne (Switzerland): The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said it might look at postponing the Tokyo Olympics but ruled out cancellation due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Executive Board (EB) of the IOC said “that a cancellation of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 would not solve any of the problems or help anybody. Therefore, cancellation is not on the agenda.”

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IOC said it will set up “scenario-planning” for the Games in Japan. “These scenarios relate to modifying existing operational plans for the Games to go ahead on 24 July 2020, and also for changes to the start date of the Games. This step will allow better visibility of the rapidly changing development of the health situation around the world and in Japan. It will serve as the basis for the best decision in the interest of the athletes and everyone else involved.”

The ICO said, “On the one hand, there are significant improvements in Japan where the people are warmly welcoming the Olympic flame. This could strengthen the IOC’s confidence in the Japanese hosts that the IOC could, with certain safety restrictions, organise Olympic Games in the country whilst respecting its principle of safeguarding the health of everyone involved.”

“On the other hand, there is a dramatic increase in cases and new outbreaks of COVID-19 in different countries on different continents. This led the EB to the conclusion that the IOC needs to take the next step in its scenario-planning.”

The IOC admitted that they will also think of postponing the Games but only after due consultations with the local authorities.

“The IOC will, in full coordination and partnership with the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the Japanese authorities and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, start detailed discussions to complete its assessment of the rapid development of the worldwide health situation and its impact on the Olympic Games, including the scenario of postponement. The IOC is confident that it will have finalised these discussions within the next four weeks, and greatly appreciates the solidarity and partnership of the NOCs and IFs in supporting the athletes and adapting Games planning,” IOC said.

Canada has become the first country to pull out of the Tokyo Olympics. It has decided to not send its athletes to Japan due to coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.