Daunting Task Ahead for IOC

(ATR) Olympic Games Director Christophe Dubi says it is a "massive undertaking" to get Tokyo ready in 16 months.

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(ATR) The International Olympic Committee says it will be a "massive undertaking" to get Tokyo ready for the postponed Games in 16 months.

Olympic Games Director Christophe Dubi added "there are no passengers, everyone has to participate" if it is to happen.

Dubi took part in a one-hour IOC briefing for international media on Thursday that also included Kit McConnell, Sports Director; James Macleod, NOC and Olympic Solidarity Director; and Timo Lumme, Managing Director IOC Television and Marketing Services.

IOC spokesperson Mark Adams, who presided over the teleconference, said 200 callers were on the line.

The IOC did not have definitive answers yet to questions posed by reporters about funding and covering costs associated with the corona virus pandemic.

Dubi, McConnell, and Lumme all said the IOC and its various stakeholders are working on solutions to help international federations and other stakeholders that have lost expected revenue from the forced cancellation of events due to COVID-19.

As for the cost to the IOC of postponing the Games, Dubi said it was premature to get into that since there were "10’s of thousands of line items of a budget that needs to be reviewed".

Dubi, in his opening remarks, said it will be a "massive undertaking to get back" to where Tokyo organizers were at the time that the Games were postponed, since "Tokyo 2020 and the authorities were really close to delivery" with four months to go.

At the top of the priority list is to re-secure the Athletes Village for use next year. Dubi says "we can by very confident" that the 41 venues will be secured but admitted the convention centers scheduled to be used this summer could already be booked for next year.

AIBA Suspension Extends to 2021

The suspension of international boxing federation AIBA will not be altered by the delay in holding the Tokyo Olympics. AIBA was suspended in July 2019 and an IOC task force was put in charge of Olympic qualification and the Olympic boxing tournament for Tokyo.

"The timing of the suspension was linked to the timing of the Games. It was due to be reviewed following the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and that still remains in place," McConnell said, in answer to a question from Around the Rings.

McConnell says the IOC Boxing Task Force would continue to be in charge of qualification and the tournament in Tokyo.

All of the athletes who have already qualified for Tokyo 2020, about 57 percent of the total, remain qualified for the postponed Games. McConnell says the National Olympic Committees still have the final say on who is submitted to participate.

There are discussions ongoing with international federations who have competitions involving specific age regulations. The most obvious one is the men’s soccer tournament, which is limited to those under 23, with three players above that age also being allowed to play. McConnell says the IOC is in discussions with FIFA and expects to finalize an agreement in the next couple of weeks.

McConnell also confirmed that the session schedule and the competition schedule for Tokyo 2020 remains the same despite the one year delay, including Sapporo remaining as host for the marathons and walking events.Due to concerns about the extreme heat in Tokyo, the IOC elected last year to move the distance events to Sapporo, 500 miles north of Tokyo.

Written by Gerard Farek

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