The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has voiced its confidence in staging this year’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in the wake of growing concerns over COVID-19.
The announcement came at the IOC Executive Board (EB) meeting yesterday where IOC President Thomas Bach said: “The IOC remains fully committed to the success of the Olympic Games. I encourage all athletes to prepare for the Games with full steam.”
The IOC later said: “The IOC EB heard a report on all the measures taken so far to address the coronavirus situation, which was followed by a comprehensive discussion.
“A joint task force had already been created in mid-February, involving the IOC, Tokyo 2020, the host city of Tokyo, the government of Japan and the World Health Organization (WHO).
“The IOC EB appreciates and supports the measures being taken, which constitute an important part of Tokyo’s plans to host safe and secure Games.”
IOC Presidential spokesperson Mark Adams added at an address to the media: “There is no international travel ban and all the advice that we are getting is that the Games can and will go ahead.”
IOC’s strong showing came as Japan’s Olympics Minister Seiko Hashimoto earlier suggested the Games could be postponed from the summer until later in the year.
She confirmed that “could be interpreted as allowing a postponement” and added “we are doing all we can to ensure that the Games go ahead as planned”.
A number of Olympic badminton qualifying tournaments have already been cancelled including the YONEX German Open 2020 due to take place this week.
In good news, Badminton England Chief Executive last night confirmed the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships on 11-15 March 11-15 would go ahead as planned.
The BWF has been in frequent dialogue with key stakeholders such as Member Associations, tournaments hosts, sponsors, as well as WHO, IOC and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to align on global and regional measures being put in place.
Last week it released a number of Frequently Asked Questions related to COVID-19 and the different impacts it has on various groups within the badminton community.
It includes implications for players and teams related to regulations, entries and withdrawals, rankings and reimbursement if a tournament is cancelled or postponed.