• Saturday, April 20, 2024
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Coronavirus threatens cancellation of Tokyo Olympics

Organisers of the world’s biggest sporting event are counting the cost of the Coronavirus outbreak which is now threatening the cancellation of this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo while disrupting competitions around the world.
The spread of the virus has led to the postponement of football and rugby fixtures, golf tournaments and motor racing events in Asia and Europe that were due to be held in the coming weeks.
“We are still absolutely heading for the games on July 24,” spokesman for the International Olympic Committee said in Wednesday, but added the games organisers are monitoring the situation alongside the World Health Organization and authorities in Japan and China before making any firm decisions.
Dick Pound, a senior member of the IOC said this week the world’s biggest sporting event was more likely to be cancelled than postponed, if health authorities deemed it too dangerous to proceed by late May.
Economists in Tokyo say they have been inundated with requests from investors over the past 24 hours to calculate the financial impact on Japan of a postponement or outright cancellation of the summer Olympics.
The project has cost Japan $25bn according to some estimates, and has broken records for corporate support with each of the games’ 15 gold sponsors including Canon, Mizuho and Namura, paying $100m for that status.
All schools have been shut in Japan.