TOKYO 2020 could be postponed for two years due to coronavirus, according to a top Olympic chief.
Haruyuki Takahashi is part of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and believes a delay to push the event back is a more feasible option than scrapping the Games entirely.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics could be delayed by two years according to one top chief – which could cause chaos for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham
But Takahashi admitted contingency plans will need to be drawn up before long.
He told the Wall Street Journal: “We’ll have to start talking about this seriously from April.
“I don’t think the Games could be cancelled, it’d be a delay.
“The International Olympic Committee would be in trouble if there’s a cancellation. American TV rights alone provide them with a huge amount.”
NBC are the Olympic broadcasters in the United States and a delay to the Games until later in 2020 could be problematic, clashing with the other sporting events such as the NFL.
Staging the global festival of sport in empty venues does not look to be a likely scenario, Takahashi added.
That would lead to a significant drop in revenue from tickets and other sales, such as merchandise.
However, should the Olympics be moved back to 2022 as suggested, that would be bad news for Birmingham.
England’s ‘Second City’ won the rights to host the Commonwealth Games between July 27 and August 7 when Durban were stripped of the honour.
So the Olympics taking place at that time as well would lead to detrimental effects for Birmingham.
Elsewhere in sport, Arsenal’s game at Manchester City was cancelled in the early hours of Wednesday morning but Brighton confirmed their game with the Gunners is set to go ahead as planned on Saturday.
That news came after Olympiacos and Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis confirmed he had contracted Covid-19 and visited the Emirates for the Europa League clash on February 27.
A number of Arsenal players and staff will remain at their homes until the 14-day period is completed and so are set to return to training on Friday.
None of them are currently showing any symptoms of coronavirus – which has so far killed six in the UK.