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Coronavirus: Tokyo Governor Says Cancelling Olympics ‘Unthinkable’

Doubts are increasingly being raised over whether the Olympics can be held as scheduled from 24 July to 9 August.

Published
World
2 min read
A man with a mask walks past a countdown clock for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Thursday, 11 March.
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Cancelling the 2020 Olympics is "unthinkable" although the classification of the coronavirus as a pandemic will likely have some impact on the Games, the Tokyo city governor said on Thursday, 12 March.

“It can’t be said that the announcement of a pandemic would have no impact... But I think cancellation is unthinkable,” Yuriko Koike told reporters.

Doubts are increasingly being raised over whether the Olympics can be held as scheduled from 24 July to 9 August.

Organisers have insisted the Games will go ahead as planned and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), with whom the final decision rests, has said there has not yet been any talk of cancellation or postponement.

The IOC has said it will coordinate closely with the World Health Organisation, which has now officially classified the outbreak as a pandemic.

Sports Affected Across the World

US basketball was the latest sport to be hit, as the NBA said it would suspend play starting on Thursday after a Utah Jazz player preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19.

In Italy, the hardest-hit European country, all sporting events including Series A have been suspended until 3 But coronavirus has already taken a huge toll on sport across the globe.

Arsenal's game at Manchester City on Wednesday became the first Premier League fixture to be called off due to the outbreak, with the Gunners' players put in quarantine after coming into contact with the owner of Greek club Olympiacos.

The virus has also hit the UEFA Champions League, with Italian side Atalanta qualifying for the quarter-finals at Valencia on Tuesday in an empty stadium, while Paris Saint-Germain's win over Borussia Dortmund was also played without spectators.

In tennis, the prestigious ATP and WTA Indian Wells tournament was cancelled as California health officials declared a public health emergency in the area after a confirmed case of the coronavirus.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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