March 17, 2020 / 5:15 PM / 19 days ago

Spain committee says would prefer postponed Tokyo Olympics to prevent 'inequality'

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Spain’s Olympic Committee (COE) president Alejandro Blanco said he would prefer this summer’s Tokyo Olympics to be postponed because his country’s athletes are unable to train due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Olympics are scheduled to be held July 24-Aug. 9, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Tuesday that it was fully committed to the games taking place and that there was no need for “any drastic decisions” regarding the event.

But Blanco took a different view.

“The decision is for the International Olympic Committee (to make) after getting reports from the World Health Organisation and the organising committee,” he said in a COE statement.

“The news that we get every day is uncomfortable for all countries in the world, but for us the most important thing is that our sportspeople cannot train and to celebrate the Games (as planned) would result in unequal conditions.

“We want the Olympics to take place, but with security. We’re an important country in the world and four months before the games, our athletes can’t arrive in equal conditions.”

Sports competitions across the world have come to a halt due to the coronavirus pandemic, while Olympic qualifiers across 33 sports have been postponed.

Reporting by Rik Sharma; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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