TOKYO 2020

Coronavirus: Trump suggests Tokyo 2020 postponement

Delaying the Olympic Games for a year would be preferable to events before empty stands in Tokyo, says US president Donald Trump.

Coronavirus: Trump suggests Tokyo 2020 postponement

Donald Trump believes the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo should be postponed for a year if the alternative is events taking place behind closed doors. Major events across the sporting world have been taking action over recent days in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Measures have included major events taking place behind closed doors – something US President Trump does not want to see happen to the Olympics.

Tokyo Olympics should take place in 2021 - Trump

"Maybe they postpone it for a year. Maybe they do that, if that's possible. Maybe that's not possible," he told reporters. "I guess it's never happened with the Olympics, although I think there was interruptions for wars. I would say maybe they postpone it for a year. I like that better than I like having empty stadiums all over the place. I think if you cancel it, make it a year later, that's a better alternative than doing it with no crowd."

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach insists his organisation remain committed to running Tokyo 2020 as planned. Speaking at the ceremonial lighting of the Olympic torch in ancient Olympia – an event that took place without spectators as a safety measure in Greece – Bach said:  "What makes us so committed, and where we are encouraged, are the measures being taken by so many governments and authorities around the world to contain the virus, 19 weeks before the Games. We are in sport, we are fully committed and I am really encouraging the athletes to go ahead with their preparations and qualifications with full steam. Then we will all welcome them to Tokyo to a great Olympic Games."