Tokyo Olympics price tag skyrockets by $3bn

IOC President is “in 100-percent agreement” with Japan’s proposal to postpone Tokyo Olympics

The evening call between Abe and Bach concluded days and weeks of negotiations between Tokyo and Lausanne, where the International Olympic Committee is based, and came after repeated public denials by Japanese officials that a pandemic might derail the Games.

Tuesday's decision came 122 days before the planned opening ceremony at Japan's newly built National Stadium, which was to usher in the 16-day event featuring 11,000 athletes from 206 nations and territories. He said: "We have to see with them what the options are".

President Thomas Bach yesterday opened the door for the Games to be held in the spring of 2021 after claiming the event was "not restricted to the summer months".

The participants agreed that drawing up a new schedule and securing venues for the games are top priorities. The official website of the Tokyo Games, as well as Japanese national broadcaster NHK, have since confirmed that Bach expressed his agreement to the proposal during the phone conference.

"These show that even in a reasonably probable worst case scenario, with appropriate mitigating actions, we expect to remain within the Group's financial covenants, while maintaining headroom under our existing committed facilities".

"We need to assess whether they will be available when we need them next year".

Bach acknowledged the additional costs and compromise "for everybody" and also the possibility of a further delay if the coronavirus pandemic was not under control by next year.

"We are dealing with the postponement of the Games, which has never happened in history". He admitted, however, that finding the right point in the calendar was "a challenging question".

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But he also predicted that he and the IOC, together with their stakeholders, will complete, "a lovely jigsaw puzzle and wonderful Olympic Games".

Olympic organizers launched the Tokyo 2020 New Launch Task Force this week with a meeting about the unprecedented possibility of pushing the Olympic Games one year down the road.

"It's like taking seven years to build the world's biggest jigsaw puzzle and, with just one piece to go, having to start again but now with less time to finish", tweeted Craig Spence, spokesman for the International Paralympic Committee.

"We are going to have to cram into about six months, what we achieved in seven years so it will be hard".

The IOC and 32 global sports federations held a teleconference on Thursday where it was made a decision to respect the qualification process.

The World Health Organization (WHO) fully supported the decision to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in Japan due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, it said on Wednesday.

If the Olympics are moved into spring, when it's cooler in Tokyo, they clash with the end of the European soccer season.

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