Stories By Amaechi Agbo
The minister of youth and sports development, Mr Sunday Dare has commended the International Olympic Committee, IOC for postponing the Tokyo 2020 Olympics due to the covid-19 pandemic.
The minister made the commendation in a release on Wednesday.
Mr Dare’s commendation came after the IOC announced the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympic Games till summer of 2021 as result of increasing spread of pandemic coronavirus scourge that has claimed over 415 000 lives.
“The IOC must be commended for postponing the Olympics in the best interest of the whole world. This is in response to the general calls across the globe to have it moved to a time when the virus would have abated.
“As much as we were all looking up to the event, the safety and wellbeing of the athletes, officials and fans alike is of paramount importance. We cannot afford to toy with the lives of millions of people around the world. At a time like this, this is the best way to go,” the minister said.
Mr Dare affirmed that the IOC cannot stand alone and that it had taken the decision in the overall best interest of safety of all Olympic families.
“This decision is an attestation of the fact that the IOC is sensitive and puts premium on the safety of people. This would douse any fear or tension about going against the general consensus which clamoured for a shift in date. We believe that once the pandemic is over, the world can come together in unity to celebrate sports biggest fiesta.”
In the same vein, Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN has praised the decision of the IOC to postpone the Tokyo Olympics
President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Hon. Olamide George, commended the International Olympics Committee over the decision to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympics by another year after weighing the pros and cons of the Covid-19 pandemic at the moment.
George speaking in a chat with newsmen stated that there is no way the IOC could have turned a blind eye to the reality of the ravaging Coronavirus which has bedevilled the world hence the need to act accordingly.
He enjoins Nigerian athletes and other sports men and women to carry out the basic infection prevention procedures to stay safe in this period.
“We must commend the effort of the International Olympic Committee for the postponement of the 2020 Olympics, it is necessary at this point in time considering the outbreak of Covid-19 and of course at this point, AFN enjoins all our athletes and indeed sportsmen and women all over the world including those with medical conditions to use basic world health organisation infection prevention procedures outlined by World health organisation.”
The AFN president said on Wednesday that the federation has learnt from the mistakes made since the current board was inaugurated and will put all supporting structures in place this year to ensure a proper and sustainable growth for the sport.
Following calls for the postponement of the games, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abey and IOC President Thomas Bach said at a joint press conference that the decision to move the games to a later date was in the best interest of the whole world until the situation returns to normal. They resolved that the event would remain in Japan and retain the name Tokyo 2020.
The United States, Canada and other Super powers had called on the IOC to move the event following the spread of the Covid-19.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics was earlier billed to begin in July and run through August.