ATHENS (Reuters) – A final decision whether to postpone this year’s Tokyo Olympic Games will be taken in coming days, two sources within the Olympic movement told Reuters on Tuesday.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Tokyo Games organizers are under mounting pressure to postpone the Games due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and IOC President Thomas Bach will hold a telephone conference at 1100 GMT.
The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the IOC and Japan would not take the full four weeks of consultation announced by the Olympic body on Sunday after finally saying that postponement was an option.
“A decision will be announced in the coming days. It is not a matter of weeks but days,” one source said.
The IOC and organizers long insisted the Games would go ahead as planned from July 24 but as the virus spread from Asia to Europe and further west, opposition to the Games mounted as athletes struggled with preparations.
It would be the first time the Olympics are moved or delayed during peacetime in their 124-year modern history.
The outbreak has now infected more than 377,000 people across 194 countries and territories, with over 16,500 deaths.
Major sporting powers Canada and Australia have already said they will not be sending teams to Tokyo if the Games go ahead as scheduled this year, and British organizers said they were likely to follow suit after meeting with sporting body representatives on Tuesday.
The United States has added its weight to calls for a delay and New Zealand pressed for a quick decision.
Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne