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The IOC is coming under increasing pressure to postpone the Tokyo Olympic Games after Spain insisted their competitors “can’t arrive in equal conditions” owing to the coronavirus outbreak.
The International Olympic Committee confirmed on Wednesday it still expects the 2020 Games to begin on 24 July despite most global sporting events having already been rearranged.
In Spain, the Spanish government has declared a state of emergency, with restrictions on movement and leaving the country.
The cancellation of many qualifying events means 43% of the 11,000 competitors yet to book their spots in Tokyo will now be selected through modified qualifiers or previous performances based on ranking.
Irrespective of the situation, IOC has also asked all athletes to continue to prepare for the Games “as best they can”
A member of the Spanish Hockey Federation [who did not wish to be named] on Wednesday said it’s not fair to put players under pressure to train and keep the same routine.
“How are the players supposed to train when the whole world is trying to avoid each other specially considering they train in big groups. Almost every country is locked down, which further restricts them from playing international practice matches.”
Yet with the IOC president, Thomas Bach, due to hold further talks with national committees over the next 24 hours, the prospect of Tokyo 2020 taking place as planned appear to be receding fast despite the governing body’s reluctance to follow the example of other major sports.