With numerous countries and industries affected by the coronavirus outbreak, there are concerns over whether it may disrupt the sporting calendar too. However, it has recently been revealed that the health scare won’t affect the upcoming Olympics that are due to start on July 24 in Tokyo.
The IOC Response to the News
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has responded to growing concern over the coronavirus. Former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori is the President of the committee that is organizing the 2020 Olympics.
He has said that there is no chance of the virus affecting the schedule of the games. Mori was quoted as saying that “we are not considering cancelling or postponing the Tokyo Games”. These comments came at a recent meeting of the local committee with local Tokyo officials and IOC members.
Mori pointed out that measures have already been taken to ensure that Tokyo 2020 goes ahead safely. These measures include enhanced border controls and he went on to say that they will “react in a calm manner” to the health crisis.
IOC member John Coates called the coronavirus outbreak an “unexpected issue” but said that all necessary precautions will be taken to ensure the safety of athletes and of visitors to Tokyo. Fewer than 250 coronavirus cases have been discovered in Japan to date.
Some Doubts Sill Linger
These positive comments came after Tokyo Olympics Chief Executive Toshiro Muto had earlier suggested that he was “very worried” about the possibility of the disease affecting the build-up to the games. Although Muto later back-tracked on this statement, the fact remains that other sporting events have been cancelled due to the coronavirus.
Most of the cancelled events to date were scheduled to take place in China. This was the case with the World Indoor Championships that were meant to take in Nanjing in March. The F1 Shanghai Grand Prix was also cancelled due to the outbreak.
Numerous events in China have been postponed or cancelled altogether, including qualifying events for the Olympics. Sports fans may also be tempted to stay at home, to watch their favorite teams on television or to bet on it choosing the best app on BestAppBet.com.
What Could Happen Next?
The fear among medical experts is that so many people will be crammed together into small spaces during the games. It is estimated that some 10 million people will visit the city during the Olympics, which run until August 9.
This has already created the fear of a lack of hotel rooms, with authorities attempting to organize alternative accommodation in time. A spokesperson for the IOC confirmed that they are in contact with the World Health Organization as well as discussing it with their own medical experts.
As for the Paralympics that happen afterwards, Craig Spence of the International Paralympic Committee said that they will go ahead too. Spence pointed out that they need to “quell the fear”, as it is spreading faster than the virus.
The upcoming Tokyo marathon will also take place in March as planned. However, officials have confirmed that any runners who are based in China can run in 2021 instead, as travel disruption may make it difficult for them to attend.
There are also doubts over the participation of Chinese athletes in other events around the world. With the All-England Badminton Championships and the Gymnastics World Cup due to place in the UK, Public Health England has stated that there are no restrictions on Chinese athletes taking part.
Despite this, it has been suggested that Chinese players may voluntarily withdraw from a number of sporting events in Europe this month.