The Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be postponed by one year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound made this announcement. He confirmed the Games – due to start on Friday, July 24, and end on Sunday, August 9 – will be held at a later date, most likely in 2021.
The details over when the Games will be held are to be worked out over the next four weeks.
Pound told USA Today: “On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided.
“The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.
“It will come in stages. We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense.”
Asked about Pound’s comments, an IOC spokesman said: “Well, as we announced yesterday, we are looking at scenarios.”
Olympic Committee chairman Thomas Bach said on Sunday that he has ruled out cancelling the Games altogether.
The decision to postpone the Olympics comes after intense pressure from competing countries, with Australia and Canada pulling out before today’s announcement.
This is the first time the Olympics will ever been postponed.
The 1916 Games were cancelled because of World War I and the 1940 and 1944 Olympics were called off due to World War II.
There were boycotts for three straight Olympics from 1976 – but the event always went ahead as scheduled.