The Tokyo Olympics could theoretically be postponed until later in 2020 if the spread of coronavirus worsens, Japan’s Olympics minister – Seiko Hashimoto has said.
The virus has caused several scheduling headaches for the sporting calendar, having spread to more than 60 countries.
The Games are due to take place between July 24 and August 9 and International Olympics Committee president Thomas Bach stated last week the organisation is still planning to go ahead with the event as scheduled.
When asked in parliament about the potential for a postponement, Seiko Hashimoto – Japan’s Olympics minister – said “the contract calls for the Games to be held within 2020”.
She added that “could be interpreted as allowing a postponement”.
Several sporting events have been rearranged in a bid to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, including the World Athletics Indoor Championships that were due to take place between March 13 and 15 in Nanjing.
In football, Serie A cancelled several fixtures over the previous two weekends and all Swiss Super League and Challenge League fixtures have been suspended, while the Ireland versus Italy Six Nations match due to take place in Dublin on Saturday was called off.
The Chinese Grand Prix on April 19 was also postponed.