IOC’s Dick Pound says followers non-obligatory as Tokyo Olympics could develop into largely TV-only occasion

Former IOC vice-president Dick Pound says the Tokyo Olympics might go forward with out followers. And he predicted the video games will open on July 23 regardless of surging coronavirus cases in Japan and across the globe.

“The question is — is this a `must-have’ or `nice-to-have.’ It’s nice to have spectators. But it’s not a must-have,” Pound stated in an interview with Japan’s Kyodo information company printed on Thursday.

Pound is not part of the IOC’s decision-making govt board, however he has been talking out not too long ago to generate enthusiasm for the postponed Olympics.

His phrases come as current polls in Japan present 80 per cent of the general public imagine the Olympics mustn’t occur with virus cases surging — or will not occur.

All or nothing

Pound, a veteran Canadian Olympic official and inaugural president of the World Anti-Doping Agency, repeated what the IOC and native organizers have been saying for months: the video games will be cancelled in the event that they can’t be held this time. There will not be one other postponement.

“It’s either 2021, or nothing,” he stated.

Pound stated “nobody can guarantee “the Olympics will open on July 23. But I feel there is a very, very, good likelihood that they’ll, and that they will.”

Pound’s words suggest the Olympics may be shaping up as a largely TV-only event with athletes kept in a bubble, transported back and forth to venues, and encouraged to leave Japan as soon as their participation ends.

Japanese media have said the opening ceremony will be limited to 6,000 athletes. About 11,000 are expected to compete in the Olympics. The Paralympics add another 4,400 athletes.

For the Switzerland-based International Olympic Committee, getting the event on television — fans or no fans — is critical to its finances. IOC President Thomas Bach has acknowledged finances are under “stress” because of the one-year postponement.

The IOC earns 73 per cent of its revenue from selling broadcast rights. In Tokyo this could amount to $2 billion to $3 billion US in lost income if the games were cancelled.

“I feel the IOC and the organizers are dedicated to going forward with the video games, if at all attainable,” Pound said. “And so they don’t seem to be going to cancel until there is a consensus among the many government, health authorities and the IOC that it could be too dangerous.”

“But in the intervening time, the plans are in place. All the indications are that we should always go forward. There’s no purpose why the video games cannot go on.”

Revenue shortfall

The native organizing committee has budgeted $800 million in revenue from ticket gross sales. The absence of followers would imply a shortfall in income. Any shortfall will have to be assumed by numerous Japanese government entities.

Officially, Japan says it is spending $15.4 billion to arrange the Olympics. However, a number of government audits counsel it is $25 billion or extra. All however $6.7 billion is public cash.

The native organizing committee price range exhibits the IOC contributes about $1.3 billion to the financing of the Olympics.

A University of Oxford research printed final 12 months confirmed Tokyo is the costliest Summer Olympics on file.

A date to look at is March 25 when the torch relay begins with 10,000 runners heading to Tokyo over a four-month journey. Kyodo stated Pound urged the relay might be shortened or cancelled if mandatory.

There was discuss early of calling off the relay, however it’s closely sponsored by Toyota and Coca-Cola.

Tokyo and several other other prefecture are beneath a state of emergency till not less than Feb. 7. Japan has attributed about 4,700 deaths of COVID-19, comparatively low for a rustic of 125 million.

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