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Coronavirus

Tokyo governor says cancelling Olympics 'unthinkable'

Organisers have insisted the Games will go ahead as planned and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), with whom the final decision rests, has said there has not yet been any talk of cancellation or postponement.

Tokyo governor says cancelling Olympics unthinkable
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PTI

Published: 12 March 2020 4:43 AM GMT

Cancelling the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is "unthinkable" although the classification of the coronavirus as a pandemic will likely have some impact on the Games, the Tokyo city governor said on 12 March.

"It can't be said that the announcement of a pandemic would have no impact... But I think cancellation is unthinkable," Yuriko Koike told reporters. Doubts are increasingly being raised over whether the Olympics can be held as scheduled from 24 July to 9 August.

Organisers have insisted the Games will go ahead as planned and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), with whom the final decision rests, has said there has not yet been any talk of cancellation or postponement.

The IOC has said it will coordinate closely with the World Health Organization (WHO), which has now officially classified the outbreak as a pandemic. But coronavirus has already taken a huge toll on sport across the globe.

US basketball was the latest sport to be hit, as the NBA said it would suspend play starting on Thursday after a Utah Jazz player preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19. In Italy, the hardest-hit European country, all sporting events including Serie A have been suspended until 3 April .

Arsenal's game at Manchester City on 11 March became the first Premier League (PL) fixture to be called off due to the outbreak, with the Gunners' players put in quarantine after coming into contact with the owner of Greek club Olympiakos.

The virus has also hit the UEFA Champions League, with Italian side Atalanta qualifying for the quarter-finals at Valencia on Tuesday in an empty stadium, while Paris Saint-Germain's win over Borussia Dortmund was also played without spectators. In tennis, the prestigious ATP and WTA Indian Wells tournament was cancelled as California health officials declared a public health emergency in the area after a confirmed case of the coronavirus.

Also Read: Coronavirus outbreak could postpone Tokyo Olympics by a year or two

Also Read: Will IPL get cancelled? What are the new visa restrictions for players?

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