The Coronavirus pandemic has made the world an uncertain place. There is nothing that can be planned at a large scale during these times with the health of people involved at stake and various restrictions on the movement of people. The graph of COVID-19 cases also seems to be going up and down around the world and just when countries begin to hope that the virus has gone, it has found a way to come back again and again with different strains and mutations.
Amid all this, the world of sports remains one of the worst hit. Several tournaments already stand postponed while others have had no choice but to get cancelled. With lots at stake, the Tokyo Olympics, originally slated to be held in 2020, was pushed back to 2021. However, even after an extended wait, the situation looks bleak in the country and there is a possibility that the quadrennial event might have to be called off.
Rate of infection has risen in Japan
One of the major reasons behind reports of the event getting postponed is that the rate of infection has risen in Japan. Although the numbers have not reached an alarming stage yet, the host nation is visibly nervous which can be sensed by other stakeholders involved. At a time when the pandemic is raging around the world, there is increasing opposition to inviting thousands from around the world for a sporting event.
Preparations are on but the challenges are growing
With an estimated $15.4 billion riding on the Olympics other than the income generated from the television broadcast, the preparations for the event scheduled to begin on July 23 are on but the challenges are increasing by every minute. The state of emergency in Tokyo and three other areas has already been extended till May 31, which means that the scheduled visit of the International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach was also cancelled.
Meanwhile, entry of non-resident foreigners in Japan is allowed only under “special exceptional circumstances.” The government has already banned overseas spectators for the Olympics but with thousands of others set to participate in a tournament of such a huge magnitude, wouldn’t the hosting of the Olympics be a risk?