The president of the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC), Mr Ben Nunoo Mensah, has welcomed the decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games to 2021 due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
The IOC and the Japanese government yesterday agreed to postpone the games to the summer of 2021 after weeks of indecision by the two bodies in the face of calls by world federations and some famous athletes for the competition to be postponed because of the current global health crisis.
IOC not forcing games to happen
The GOC president maintained that IOC was not forcing the games to happen even though the world body had issued a communique to National Olympic Committees last week to continue their preparations towards the Tokyo Games.
He told the Daily Graphic yesterday that the worldwide spread of the virus would make it difficult for athletes to train and suggested that the rescheduling would be in the good interest of all.
“The IOC is not pushing for the games to take place at all cost; it is committed to the health, safety and welfare of athletes.”
“It must be noted that the IOC considers the health and safety of athletes and fans as paramount and will fight to protect as such at all cost,” Mr Nunoo Mensah said in defence of the world Olympic body.
Disruptions in training
He stated that the coronavirus pandemic had brought a lot of disruptions in the training regimen of athletes and added that close to half of the athletes were yet to qualify for the games.
Also, the hardest hit regions of the world were Europe and the America where majority of Olympic athletes would come from.
“If you look at the permutations, Europe and the United States contain majority of athletes and the disease is spreading there rapidly preventing them from training and planning for the game,” he stated.
The GOC boss remains optimistic that the games will come on in 2021 and stressed that the name will still be dubbed; Tokyo 2020.