Coronavirus: Tokyo Olympics officially postponed to 2021

Olympic rings monument in front of National Stadium. (Reuters)

The International Olympic Committee and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have concluded the Tokyo 2020 Olympics must be postponed, and held no later than the summer of 2021, the IOC and Tokyo 2020 organisers said on Tuesday.

After a call with IOC president Thomas Bach, Abe said the July 24-August 9 event would be rescheduled for the summer of 2021 at the latest, as proof of victory over the coronavirus.

"In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games... in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021," the IOC said in a statement after Abe had confirmed the postponement.

"To safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community," it said.

It is the first time in the Olympics' 124-year history that they had been postponed, though they were cancelled outright several times during the two 20th century World Wars.

Read more:

Iran covered up coronavirus to boost election turnout

How long can coronaviruses survive in a freezer? Up to two years, warns expert

Behind the name: Why is pandemic called coronavirus, COVID-19?

SHOW MORE
Last Update: 13:14 KSA 16:14 - GMT 13:14
Top