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Tokyo Olympics official to propose possible delay to games: Kyodo

'Time is running out,' Haruyuki Takahashi says, so it is better to postpone Olympics by 1 or 2 years instead of cancelling

Satuk Bugra Kutlugun   | 11.03.2020
Tokyo Olympics official to propose possible delay to games: Kyodo

ANKARA

Amid widespread fears of coronavirus, one of the organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will propose a delay to the summer games, the Kyodo news agency reported Wednesday.

"We need to deal with [the crisis] based on reality. Time is running out," Kyodo quoted Haruyuki Takahashi, a member of the Tokyo Games organizing committee executive board, saying in a phone call.

On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal cited Takahashi as saying it would better to postpone the Olympics by one or two years, rather than cancelling it due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Takahashi, as quoted by Kyodo News, said "there would be no cancellation," as the financial fallout from canceling the games or holding them without spectators and issuing ticket refunds would be too great to consider.

He suggested a two-year delay would be easier for organizers to arrange since next year's sports schedule in the U.S. and Europe is largely fixed and U.S. broadcasters have already paid huge fees for broadcasting rights to the Tokyo Games.

Japan’s government is currently mulling a decision to declare a state of emergency, with major events canceled and schools suspended.

The operators of Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea said the resorts will remain closed until early April due to the spread of coronavirus in the country, according to Kyodo.

Coronavirus was first detected last December in Wuhan, China.

The global death toll from the virus is now over 4,260, with more than 118,100 confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University in the U.S.

The virus has spread to six continents and more than 100 countries.

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