LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games should be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the president of the Slovenian Olympic Committee Bogdan Gabrovec told national news agency STA on Friday.
Gabrovec’s intervention is the latest in a growing chorus which has called for the event’s suspension.
Despite suspensions of sports leagues and Olympic trials around the world, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said it does not intend to cancel the Games, set to begin July 24.
“Olympic Games cannot be held in July in line with the Olympic principle. Aside from other things, sportsmen simply do not have equal opportunities in these conditions to prepare for the Games,” Gabrovec said.
“There would be nothing wrong with holding the Games in 2021, by then conditions will calm down. If that would not happen, the Olympic Games would not be important as a fight for survival would dominate,” he added.
Slovenian athletes are unable to train in groups after the country’s government earlier on Friday prohibited all socialising in public spaces.
Slovenia, which borders Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia, has so far confirmed 341 coronavirus cases, one person has died.
The Olympics are scheduled to take place from July 24-Aug 9.
Reporting By Marja Novak; Editing by Christian Radnedge