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Tuesday November 30, 2021

Asian Olympic body welcomes postponement

March 25, 2020

KARACHI: The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has endorsed the decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympics until next year.

“The OCA would like to express its total support for the decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games until next year,” the OCA Director General Husain Al Musallam said on Tuesday.

“The OCA appreciates that this must have been an extremely difficult decision to make, but the rapidly deteriorating situation around the world due to COVID-19 has made this postponement a necessity. The health and wellbeing of athletes and all Olympic stakeholders must be the top priority,” he said.

“The IOC, along with Japanese authorities, have tried to delay this decision as long as possible in the hope that the situation might improve in the coming weeks and months but, sadly, this has not been the case. Now is the time for the Olympic sports movement around the world to show unity and solidarity and to work as one team in preparing for a brighter future,” he added.

“At this time, we would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the Organising Committee of Tokyo 2020 for all the work, planning and preparation they have put in over a number of years – only for this completely unforeseen pandemic to intervene and change the course of Olympic history. We know Japan will recover from this setback and put on an even greater show to mark the coming together of humanity after finally defeating this virus,” Husain said.

“We would also like to send our gratitude and appreciation to the athletes of Asia for all their efforts in qualifying – or attempting to qualify – for the Olympic Games. Although you must be disappointed at this time, the dream is not over.

The Olympic Games will come back stronger and with even more passion – and so will you. The OCA has always championed the interests of the athletes and it did its best to ensure that the preparations of the Asian Athletes were not affected,” he added.