Olympics 2020: Uncertainty Looms because of Corona Pandemic

Every sector including sports events is suffering a slow down or shutdown worldwide owing to the fierce pandemic of COVID-19. What will happen to Olympics 2020 in the times of isolation, social distancing and quarantine. IOC has set a deadline of 4 weeks to take a decision.

With COVID – 19 massive outbreak, Olympic 2020 Tokyo games face a tough time. During a conference call with the World Health Organization in the first week of March, sports federations discussed holding the Tokyo Games without fans. Now, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated while addressing the parliament for the first time Tokyo Olympics 2020 might have to be delayed.

No matter how we feel about the above prospect, it is the only option, which is staring them in the face. This means Tokyo games with no fans, just 10,000 athletes competing in front of seas of empty seats plus it seems inevitable to be delayed as well.

Corona virus has stampeded the world with about 340, 000 documented cases all over the world and about 15000 deaths. Hence, sporting events without fans will become the new normal in the coming times. Fans were not allowed to attend the international Biathlon Union’s World Cup event in Czech Republic recently. In Italy, the country’s top soccer league was supposed to resume its schedule by playing matches in empty stadiums with no fans until at least early April. In England, Premier League clubs have been instructed to avoid pre-game handshakes and team has been told be ready to play matches without the spectators and cheers from the fans.

Still the huge question mark on the sports calendar hangs on the Olympic 2020 in Japan. Competition is currently scheduled to begin on July 24, 2020. According to the discussion on the conference call with the World Health Organization (along with many medical officers), international sports federations which run the competitions at the Olympics; the situation is becoming grimmer day by day.  The International Olympic Committee is to decide the fate of the games in four weeks’ time.

Canada has already withdrew its athletes from Olympic 2020 games, Australia has asked its Olympic and Paralympic athletes to prepare for 2021 games now. Hence, it is a fair to expect Olympics to be delayed as well as held with not cheers of the real crowd. As put by  IOC President Thomas Bach – “The Olympic flame will be a light at the end of this dark tunnel.” Let us hope a rapid decision in this direction because the players from across the world are at the receiving end of this uncertainty.

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