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Olympics | Fresh dates needed to proceed further

Back to planning: Tokyo 2020 organising committee president Yoshiro Mori, right, speaks as CEO Toshiro Muto listens during the the first meeting of the ‘Tokyo 2020 New Launch Task Force’ on Thursday.

Back to planning: Tokyo 2020 organising committee president Yoshiro Mori, right, speaks as CEO Toshiro Muto listens during the the first meeting of the ‘Tokyo 2020 New Launch Task Force’ on Thursday.  

New Tokyo task force meets to discuss the next course of action

The Tokyo Olympics needs new dates for the Opening and Closing ceremonies in 2021. Nothing much can get done until those dates are worked out by the International Olympic Committee, the Japanese government and Tokyo organisers.

“We must decide this soon, otherwise it will be hard to decide on other things to follow,” Toshiro Muto, the CEO of the organising committee, told his senior directors on Thursday.

Two days after the unprecedented postponement was announced, the “Tokyo 2020 New Launch Task Force” must put the Games back together.

Pep talk

Muto and the president of the organising committee, Yoshiro Mori, each gave pep speeches. Mori, an 82-year-old former Japanese Prime Minister, drew on war memories from his youth to summon the resolve to redo in a few months what was seven years in the planning.

Muto ran off a condensed string of issues to be resolved: ticketing, security, venues, merchandise, accommodation, the Athletes Village, transportation and lining up unpaid volunteers.

He added he was looking at “thousands of contracts” and the interests of broadcasters, sponsors, the IOC, world sports federations and national Olympic committees.

“I didn’t imagine at all we’d be tested to this degree,” he acknowledged.

Massive expenses

He also voiced another reality. “Additional expenses are going to be quite massive we assume,” Muto said.

The Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei has estimated added costs due to the delay of $2.7 billion.

This would go on top of an official budget of $12.6 billion.

IOC President Thomas Bach said Wednesday that “all options are on the table” for new dates.

He said next year’s Olympics don’t have to be restricted to summer in the Northern Hemisphere and might occur sooner.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 6:37:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/olympics-fresh-dates-needed-to-proceed-further/article31176105.ece

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