Tokyo 2020 Olympics have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound confirmed the Games will be held at a later date, most likely in 2021.
— IGN (@IGN) March 23, 2020
The final details over when the Games – due to start on Friday, July 24 – will be held are to be worked out over the next four weeks.
Pound told USA Today: “On the basis of the information the IOC has, the postponement has been decided.
“The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.
“It will come in stages. We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense.”
Asked about Pound’s comments, an IOC spokesman said: “Well, as we announced yesterday, we are looking at scenarios.”
Olympic Committee chairman Thomas Bach said on Sunday that he has ruled out cancelling the Games altogether.
The decision to postpone the Olympics comes after intense pressure from competing countries, with Australia and Canada pulling out before today’s announcement.
British Olympic Association chairman Hugh Robertson said just hours before Pound’s comments that Team GB would not be going if Covid-19 continues to spread as expected.
He said: “We can’t see any way that this can go ahead as things are constituted. I expect we will be joining Canada and Australia shortly.”
Coronavirus has totally decimated the entire sporting calendar, with Euro 2020 being pushed back a year, total uncertainty over the future of the Premier League and just about every other sport there is being affected in some way.
The Olympics have been postponed for the first time ever due to coronavirushttps://t.co/rxnQ9dsv0c
— CNET (@CNET) March 23, 2020
This is the first time the Olympics have ever been postponed.
The 1916 Games were cancelled because of World War I and 1940 and 1944 Olympics were called off due to World War II.
There were boycotts for three straight Olympics from 1976 – but the event always went ahead as scheduled.