President of Tokyo 2020 says Olympics will be 'scrapped' rather than delayed again

Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori has suggested that the delayed 2020 Olympic Games could be scrapped if they can’t be rearranged during 2021.

The coronavirus pandemic has seen the games moved to run from 23 July to 8 August next year but there are doubts whether the games will be able to go ahead without a vaccine.

Mr Mori was asked if the ongoing battle against Covid-19 could see the event postponed further until 2021, he told Nikkan Sports: “No. In that case, the Olympics will be scrapped.

“This Olympics would be much more valuable than any Olympics in the past if we could go ahead with it after winning this battle.

“We have to believe this, otherwise our hard work and efforts will not be rewarded.”

Japan is currently set to exit a countrywide state of emergency on May 6 but authorities are certain to extend the measure barring a significant drop in new cases.

On Tuesday, the president of Japan’s medical association, Yoshitake Yokokura, suggested that staging the Olympics in the country could be difficult for organisers.

He said: “I do not believe it will be possible to lift the state of emergency across the whole country at this stage.

“I am not saying that Japan should or shouldn’t host the Olympics, but that it would be difficult to do so.

“The global state of infections at that particular time will be a key issue, it will be difficult even if the situation in Japan has become better if infections continue to spread abroad.

“Unless an effective vaccine is developed, I expect hosting the Olympics will be difficult.”

Mr Mori has suggested that the Olympics and Paralympics could share opening and closing ceremonies as a way of cutting costs.

He said: “Given that the situation has dramatically changed, we have to review key areas, including the ceremonies.

“It’s going to be a considerable cut in costs and a big message of victory against the global crisis – but it’s not easy.”

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