Euro 2020 may be postponed until 2021 but Olympics 'pressing ahead'
"At the moment, we are not thinking about changing plans or postponing the Games."
At the moment. Strong words and bold stances are shifting and receding on a daily basis.
The ongoing turmoil caused by the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak was always going to hit sporting events hard and it looks as though that may affect two of the summer's big get-togethers.
According to Italy's Tuttosport, many European federations are calling on Uefa to postpone Euro 2020 in the summer. The European championships, which Ireland are striving to reach via the playoffs, is set to take place in 12 countries during June and July with some group stage games and a Round of 16 match lined up for the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
One of the cities set to host games, including a quarter final, is Rome but the entire country of Italy is on a government sanctioned lockdown due to a severe outbreak of the Coronavirus there. All Serie A games have been postponed for the foreseeable future.
The report states that a cancellation of the championships would not be countenanced as it is projected to be worth €2.5 billion to Uefa and the host cities. Playing behind closed doors is 'not being taken into consideration'.
There would be too much disruption involved to move the championships to later in the year - should the virus outbreak recede or be solved - so many of the football associations and federations are suggesting a move to summer 2021. It would mean sacrificing the Nations League finals but would appear to be the most logical move.
Yoshiro Mori, meanwhile, has insisted that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are still on course to take place. Mori is the chief of the Tokyo Games Organising Committee and he spoke to Reuters about the recent comments of Haruyuki Takahashi.
Takahashi, who is one of 25 members of the Organising Committee's executive board, caused a stir with his honest appraisal of the situation. He told the Wall Street Journal that serious discussions would need to take place in April if the Coronavirus situation was ongoing. Takahashi said the games could be postponed until 2022.
Mori says Takahashi has since apologised for his comments and declared, "It is our basic stance that we press ahead with preparation for a safe and secure Olympics."