TOKYO – The 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo have been thrown into further doubt after Canada became the first major country to withdraw.
Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, admitted for the first time that the games could be postponed.
Australia’s team said it was clear the games could not go ahead, while the British Olympic Association said it was unlikely to be able to send a team.
The International Olympic Committee is expected to decide in four weeks’ time.
It said postponement – but not cancellation – was an option being examined.
What did Canada say?
The Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee said on Sunday that they had taken “the difficult decision” to withdraw after consulting athletes, sports groups, and the Canadian government.
They then “urgently called” on the IOC, International Paralympic Committee and World Health Organization, to postpone the games for a year.
“While we recognise the inherent complexities around a postponement, nothing is more important than the health and safety of our athletes and the world community,” their statement said.
The Canadians later posted a message on Twitter saying: “Postpone today. Conquer tomorrow.”