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Tokyo Olympics postponed to 2021

Tokyo: The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games have been postponed by one year due to the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus crisis.

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, following a conference call on Tuesday, agreed to postpone the Games for 12 months.

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The Japanese Prime Minister said afterwards: "I proposed to postpone for about a year and President Thomas Bach responded with 100% agreement."

He added: "This will make it possible for athletes to play in the best condition, and will make the event a safe and secure one for spectators."

The IOC and Tokyo 2020 organising committee said in a joint statement: "In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.

"The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present.

"Therefore, it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020."

Asia's representatives in men's football are Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia and Australia together with hosts Japan. Australia have also confirmed their place in the women's tournament together with Japan. China PR and Korea Republic will play-off for the final spot.

Also postponed to 2021 are the European Championship and Copa America, which Australia and Qatar are scheduled to play in.

Photo: AFP

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