In a potentially seismic event postponement, Japan’s Olympic minister has said that the Tokyo 2020 Games could be moved from the summer until later in the year due to the coronavirus.
Speaking in Japan’s parliament, Seiko Hashimoto said Tokyo’s contract with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) “calls for the Games to be held within 2020…[this] could be interpreted as allowing a postponement.”
The Games are due to be held from July 24 to August 9.
“We are doing all we can to ensure that the Games go ahead as planned,” Hashimoto added in a BBC report. IOC president Thomas Bach said last week that the organization is “fully committed” to hosting the event in the summer.
Any change of date for the Olympics would have a huge effect for broadcasters the world over.
Sporting events to be cancelled or postponed due to the outbreak include the 2020 World Indoor Athletics Championships and the Chinese Grand Prix.
The film and TV industries have largely avoided cancelling major industry confabs to date though the Hong Kong Filmart was postponed. Cinemas in multiple European markets have been closed and the industry in China has been significantly impacted.
This week, the Paris and Leipzig Book Fairs have both been cancelled.
Globally, around 86,000 people have been infected by the virus, which has spread to more than 50 countries. More than 3,000 people have died – the vast majority in China’s Hubei region, where the outbreak began in December.
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