The IOC took a historic decision to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rabat – The pandemic-related postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to 2021 will cost the International Olympic Committee (IOC) “several hundred million dollars,” said IOC President Thomas Bach on Wednesday, April 29.
“We already know that we have to shoulder several hundred million dollars of postponement costs,” Bach wrote in a letter to the Olympic Movement.
The IOC will honor its financial obligations to Japanese authorities, he assured. Doing so would probably require the organization to reduce expenditures.
“We also need to look into and review all the services that we provide for these postponed games,” Bach explained.
In order to tackle the new expenses, the IOC would have to dig into its reserve of approximately $1 billion.
The committee took a historic decision on March 24 to postpone the 2020 Olympic Games, initially set to begin on July 24 this year, until July 23 to August 8, 2021.
Bach announced that a task force “has established the priorities and management strategies to make these postponed Olympic Games feasible and successful.”
The task force’s main objective is creating “a safe environment with regard to health for all participants.”
“At this moment, nobody knows what the realities of the post-coronavirus world will look like,” Bach said, inviting the Olympic Movement to view the crisis as an opportunity.
The senior executive called for the promotion of e-sports in light of social distancing.
“Whilst maintaining our principles by respecting the red line, with regard to the Olympic values, we encourage our stakeholders even more urgently to consider how to govern electronic and virtual forms of their sport and explore opportunities with game publishers,” he said.
The IOC had made an unprecedented agreement with tech giant Intel to organize an e-sports tournament in Tokyo during the lead-up to the 2020 Olympics. Similar to the Olympics, participants were set to play on teams that represent their nations.
It remains to be seen whether such a tournament will find fruition.
On April 28, the head of the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee, Yoshiro Mori, warned that the Olympic Games could be canceled if the COVID-19 pandemic persists until 2021, as they cannot be postponed again.