Tokyo Olympics 2020: IOC advises all federations to stay rescheduling of qualifiers for 'fair access' to all athletes
Regarding the suspension of Olympic qualification events, IOC advised caution in scheduling any qualifiers until the situation arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic can be assessed properly
Lausanne: New dates for the Tokyo Games will ease the pressure to immediately reschedule the remaining qualifiers, said the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Monday, making it clear that no qualifying event will be held unless "fair access" and "appropriate preparation" is provided to the athletes.
The IOC on Monday announced 23 July to 8 August 2021 as the new dates for the Tokyo Games. The governing body had postponed the showpiece event last week due to the rapidly-spreading COVID-19 pandemic.
It was after all sporting activities, including the Olympic qualifiers across the globe, were brought to a halt due to the coronavirus outbreak which has so far killed nearly 35,000.
"With the postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 until July 2021, we have removed the pressure regarding the need to immediately reschedule the remaining qualification events, and we will take the necessary time and be prudent in the rescheduling of these events with the relevant International Federations (IF)," IOC said in a statement.
Regarding the suspension of Olympic qualification events, IOC advised caution in scheduling any qualifiers until the situation arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic can be assessed properly.
"We greatly appreciate the fact that all IFs have suspended their Olympic qualification events. As noted during the conference calls, this is important in terms of recognising the extraordinary challenges so many athletes are now facing with their training and preparations, as well as their own personal circumstances," IOC said.
— Olympics (@Olympics) March 30, 2020
"No further qualification events will be scheduled unless they can guarantee fair access and fair and appropriate preparation for the competing athletes and teams.
The governing body also said it will work closely with the international federations while finalising the revised qualification systems.
"We will continue to work closely with each IF on the necessary revisions of the Tokyo 2020 qualification systems. Our aim is to confirm these to the NOCs shortly and these will be posted on the NOCNet," IOC said.
"To facilitate these adaptations, and reflecting the postponement of the Games, we are making the necessary modifications to the qualification system principles to include, for example, the relaxation of the maximum two-year period and amendments to the qualification deadlines."
The IOC also decided to form a Taskforce to work out the logistics.
"The Taskforce will centralise all activities to keep a constant overview of the situation. Its immediate actions are to secure a number of Games fundamentals: sports venues, Olympic Village, Main Media Centre, logistical areas, hotels, fairly quickly.
"The Taskforce will also review and adapt all commercial agreements in light of the postponement."
Regarding the NOC payments to the Tokyo Organising Committee, IOC said:
"Due to the postponement of Tokyo 2020, there has been an initial review of the NOC payment schedule and deadlines vis-à-vis the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee.
"All deadlines currently scheduled for upcoming payments to Tokyo 2020, including, for example, ticketing, rate cards and accommodation, have been suspended until further notice," IOC said.
"New NOC Payments timelines will be developed now that the Games' dates have been confirmed. Tokyo 2020 will also aim to clarify how payments already made by stakeholders can be handled."
Striking an optimistic note at a meeting with Tokyo 2020 organisers, IOC president Thomas Bach vowed to make the postponed event a triumph despite the uncertainties of the pandemic.
Qualifying for the postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympics had almost finished as there were only five events left, as well as the continental qualifying tournaments.
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