Coronavirus: Who will cover cost of postponing Tokyo 2020 Olympics?

By Waweru Titus: Wednesday, April 1st 2020 at 12:26 GMT +3 | Sports
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wipes his nose as he holds a news conference on Japan's response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at his official residence in Tokyo, Japan, March 28, 2020. [REUTERS/Issei Kato]

Olympic Games are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes worldwide participate in a variety of competitions.

The novel coronavirus has continued to wreak havoc and the question on our lips is; who will foot the bill for postponingTokyo 2020 Olympics?

Tokyo 2020 Olympics organising committee president Yoshiro Mori told international federations on Saturday that deciding who pays the bill for this year’s Summer Games will be a "major challenge".

Japan invested $12 billion (Sh1.3 trillion) in the run-up to the Games and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach had issued a stern warning that the price tag would rise further.

President Mori wrote in a letter addressed to the 33 international federations of sports that make up the Tokyo Games programme indicating extra costs would be inevitable.

"The extra cost that will arise from this postponement is inevitable.

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"Deciding who will bear these costs and how it will be done will be a major challenge,” Mori wrote.

Mori, however, called on all of those involved in ensuring the Games goes ahead that they “carry out our mission to deliver the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 next year, demonstrating that human beings have triumphed over the coronavirus pandemic”.

The organising committee (Tokyo 2020) launched a team to resolve issues linked to the postponement, such as reviewing dates for the Games and securing venues.

FILE PHOTO: Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, President of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee Yoshiro Mori, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga attend a telephone conference with International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach (not pictured) at Abe's official residence in Tokyo, Japan March 24, 2020, in this photo released by Japan's Cabinet Public Relations Office via Kyodo. [Japan's Cabinet Public Relations Office via Kyodo/via REUTERS/File Photo]

The IOC and Games organisers announced on Tuesday the Olympics and Paralympics would be delayed until 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, following a phone call between Bach and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

This is the first such postponement in the modern Games' 124-year history.

The chief executive of Tokyo 2020, Toshiro Muto, admitted before the official postponement that he was unsure about what losses would be incurred as a result of the delay.

"The basic policy of postponement was decided today.

"How exactly are we going to achieve the postponement? That will be discussed among the IOC, us and Tokyo. I am sure it will be very difficult."

The Olympic Games are held every four years, alternating between the Summer and Winter Games every two years in the four-year period.

The IOC is responsible for selecting the host city, overseeing the planning of the Olympic Games, updating and approving the sports program, and negotiating sponsorship and broadcasting rights.

GameYetu takes a look at how much it could cost Japan postponing the Tokyo Summer Olympics

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