'Safety of athletes more important': Canada refuses to attend Tokyo Olympics 2020 amid coronavirus pandemic
Toronto (Canada) | Jagran Sports Desk: The Canadian government has decided not to send its athletes to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo amid the surging number of coronavirus cases in the world, said the country’s Olympic Committee.
In an official statement, the country has also called to postponed the games for one year, saying “nothing is more important than the health and safety of our athletes”.
“While we recognize the inherent complexities around a postponement, nothing is more important than the health and safety of our athletes and the world community. This is not solely about athlete health -- it is about public health,” the COC said in a statement.
“We are in the midst of a global health crisis that is far more significant than sport. The coronavirus threat and risks make for an unsafe environment for athletes, their families and the broader Canadian community,” it added.
Amid the rising number of coronavirus cases in the world, several international organisations has demanded for the Olympics to be postponed.
In wake of the alarming situation, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday hinted at the possibility that the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games could be postponed this summer if they could not be held in their complete form.
"If it is difficult to hold the games in such a way, we have to decide to postpone it, giving top priority to the health of the athletes," Abe said, Xinhua reported.
Abe had previously said that Japan was still pushing ahead to host the Games in their "complete form," meaning as per the current schedule and in front of spectators.
The latest remarks from the Japanese leader come on the heels of the IOC saying that it is exploring a number of scenarios amid the global coronavirus pandemic including postponing the Games.
Abe said the IOC will ultimately make a final decision on the matter. He added, however, that neither the IOC or Japan have discussed the idea of cancelling the quadrennial Games, nor is such a scenario tabled to be discussed.
(With IANS inputs)
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma