WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump has made a suggestion to postpone the Tokyo Olympic Games rather than having players play in an empty stadium. He spoke this keeping in mind the worsening condition of the world amid the rapidly spreading coronavirus.
The Olympics is scheduled to be held from 24th July to 9th August this year in Japan. While addressing the reporters at the White House, Trump said that it would be better to postpone the event rather than having it with no crowd.
"I think, if you cancel it, make it a year later, that's a better alternative than doing it with no crowd," said the US President.
Japan's national broadcaster NHK reported that Trump had a telephonic conversation with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday morning (Japan time) but did not reveal if they touched upon the topic of the Olympic Games.
On the other hand, Tokyo Games organizers said that the preparation for the event will be continuing. The comment was issued by the Tokyo 2020 committee after Trump's suggestion.
NHK reported, "The committee, the IOC and the IPC hope to continue their preparations for holding safe Games from July as scheduled in cooperation with the Japanese government, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and others."
The committee also said that it will "closely watching the situation and taking advice from the World Health Organization (WHO)."
Yoshihide Suga, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary and a government spokesman said on Thursday that the Games will be held as per the schedule even after the WHO declared the novel virus as a pandemic.
The IOC chief Thomas Bach also stressed in Olympia, Greece at the flame-lighting ceremony that the Games will go ahead as planned.