Tokyo: The postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics will have to be cancelled if the coronavirus pandemic isn't brought under control by next year, the organising committee's president warned, ruling out further delays.
The comments, in an interview with a Japanese sports daily published on Tuesday, come as medical experts doubted whether the pandemic can be sufficiently contained by next year to hold an event drawing participants and spectators from around the world.
The pandemic has already forced a year-long delay of the Games, which are now scheduled to open on July 23, 2021.
But Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori was categorical when asked by the Nikkan Sports daily whether the Games could be delayed until 2022 if the pandemic remains a threat next year, replying: "No." "In that case, it's cancelled," Mori said.
Mori noted the Games had been cancelled previously only during wartime, and compared the battle against coronavirus to "fighting an invisible enemy".
If the virus is successfully contained, "we'll hold the Olympics in peace next summer", he added.
"Mankind is betting on it."
Asianet.in/ Desk: Asianet Online