Nigeria’s Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare has commended the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for postponing the Tokyo 2020 Olympics due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Mr Dare, “The IOC must be commended for postponing the Olympics in the best interest of the whole world. This is in response to the general calls across the globe to have it moved to a time when the virus would have abated.
“As much as we were all looking up to the event, the safety and well being of the athletes, officials and fans alike is important.
“We cannot afford to toy with the lives of millions of people around the world. At a time like this, this is the best way to go.”
The Minister affirmed that the IOC cannot stand alone and that it had taken the decision in the best interest of safety of the athletes and their families.
“This decision is an attestation of the fact that the IOC is sensitive and puts premium attention on the safety of people.
“This would douse any fear or tension about going against the consensus which clamoured for a shift in date.
“We believe that once the pandemic is over, the world can come together in unity to celebrate sports biggest fiesta”, he added.
Following calls for the postponement of the games, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abey and IOC President Thomas Bach said at a joint press conference that the decision to move the games to a later date was in the interest of the whole world until the situation returns to normal.
They resolved that the event would remain in Japan and retain the name Tokyo 2020.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics was earlier billed to begin in July 23 and run through August 8th but with the outbreak of the COVID-19, The United States, Canada, Australia and other national Olympic committees had called on the IOC to move the event.
On March 30th, 2020, the organising committee, the Tokyo metropolitan government and the government of Japan via a telephone conference meeting, agreed on the new dates for the games in 2021.
The Olympic 2020 will now be celebrated from July 23 to August 8, 2021. They also agreed on new dates for the Paralympic Games, which will be celebrated from August 24 until September 5, 2021.