The Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 has been scheduled for July to August but due to the concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, the event was placed in a tight spot. Because the number of infected people worldwide is growing, it was expected to be canceled but Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe just stated that the event will go ahead as planned.

But while the Japanese PM announced his decision for the Olympics to push through, he said that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has the final say if the international sporting event will move as scheduled. He added that they are not worried about the spread of COVID-19 as they think they can control and deal with it.

"We will overcome the spread of the infection and host the Olympics without a problem, as planned," CNN News quoted Abe as saying in a news conference in Tokyo.

The PM made this comment after the Olympic organizers revealed that Greece canceled its participation in the torch relay due to the Coronavirus. The Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) issued a press release for their decision regarding the event.

“The HOC regrets very much that it has to announce the cancellation of the upcoming legs of the Greek leg of the Olympic Torch Relay,” part of the statement reads. “Unfortunately, the latest developments concerning the spread of the COVID-19 virus has led the HOC, in association with the Greek Ministry of Health, to the conclusion that this was the best possible decision in order to contribute to the containment of the virus.”

The committee also stated that it will hand over the Olympic Flame to the Tokyo organizing committee on March 19 at the Panathenaic Stadium. They stressed that the public will not be invited to the activity.

For the Japanese leg of the torch relay, it will go ahead and start on March 26 in Fukushima. Abe said that he will be at the said location to witness the start and transfer of the Olympic flame. Yuriko Koike, governor of Tokyo assured that they will be taking measures for the COVID-19 while the torch relay takes place domestically.

In any case, The Guardian reported that a British athlete is calling on the International Olympic Committee to postpone the Tokyo Olympic Games this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Guy Learmonth, the captain of the GB team at the 2019 European Indoor Championships, is the first athlete to warn others about the risks of going to Tokyo for the games and said that it is not worth it.

“We have no idea how bad this is going to get and what we have seen so far might be the tip of the iceberg,” he said. “Of course the IOC and the whole world wants a successful Olympics but for that to happen I strongly believe the event needs to be postponed – unless the authorities can guarantee it will be business as usual, which I don’t believe they can.”

A Japanese citizen, Koki Miura, also shared the same opinion as Learmonth. She said that Japan can’t sacrifice people’s lives for it thus she agreed that the Olympics should be postponed if not canceled.

"To be honest, even if Japan overcomes this crisis, we wouldn't receive visitors from the world,” he told AFP via The Daily Mail. “I think we'd better not hold it."

Olympic Rings - Tokyo Olympics 2020
Davronbek Rahmatullayev, a university student, has been accused of sexually assaulted a woman, aged in her 20s, on the grounds of the stadium in Shinjuku Ward last Friday night, according to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department. This is a representational image. FABRICE COFFRINI / Getty Images

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