Coronavirus Outbreak: IOA to wait for at least a month before making any decision after Canada pulls out of Tokyo Olympics 2020

The Indian Olympic Association on Monday said it will 'wait and watch' for at least a month before taking any call on the country's Olympic participation after Canada created a flutter by becoming the first nation to pull out of the showpiece if it is held this year.

FP Sports March 23, 2020 11:43:32 IST
Coronavirus Outbreak: IOA to wait for at least a month before making any decision after Canada pulls out of Tokyo Olympics 2020

The Indian Olympic Association on Monday said it will "wait and watch" for at least a month before taking any call on the country's Olympic participation after Canada created a flutter by becoming the first nation to pull out of the showpiece if it is held this year.

IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta, while talking to PTI, said the body is closely monitoring the fast-evolving situation triggered by the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 14,000 and infected over 300,000.

Coronavirus Outbreak IOA to wait for at least a month before making any decision after Canada pulls out of Tokyo Olympics 2020

Olympic rings near the New National Stadium in Tokyo. AP

"We will wait and watch for 4 to 5 weeks and then come to any decision after consultation with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the sports ministry," Mehta said.

"The situation is not that bad in our country as compared to other nations," he added.

The July-August Olympics are looking increasingly uncertain of going ahead as scheduled and the IOC had admitted that it would consider all options, including postponement, in four weeks from now.

Earlier, late Sunday, the Canadian Olympic Committee announced it won't send athletes to Tokyo unless the games are postponed by a year, becoming the first country to threaten such a move. The committee said in a statement that it was unsafe for athletes to continue training.

“In fact, it runs counter to the public health advice which we urge all Canadians to follow,” the committee said.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also urged the IOC to make a quick decision, adding that a postponement would be unavoidable if the games cannot be held in a complete way. The Australian Olympic Committee also chimed in, advising athletes to prepare for an Olympics next year.

With inputs from PTI and AP

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