Geneva: International Hockey Federation (FIH) CEO Thierry Weil has welcomed the decision of the International Olympic Committee and Japanese authorities to postpone Tokyo Olympic Games to 2021.
“On behalf of the International Hockey Federation, I would like to thank and express our full support to the International Olympic Committee, the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee, the Japanese authorities and the Tokyo metropolitan government for the decision taken to postpone the Olympics to next year,” Weil said in a statement.
“This decision brings clarity to the global hockey community and I’m sure it is supported by all athletes who are currently facing important challenges to train at this unprecedented time,” he added.
Weil believed the message of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch that “Hope Lights Our Way” could not be more pertinent at this time while stressing that “the focus today is on staying at home to fight the COVID-19 pandemic”.
“We look forward to outstanding Olympic Games in Tokyo next year!”
On Tuesday, the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee said in a joint statement that the committee’s president Thomas Bach and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed that the Games have to be “rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021.”
This thus makes it the first Olympics to be postponed with the Games being cancelled previously in 1916 due to the First World War and 1940 and 1944 due to the Second World War.
The joint statement said that the postponement comes in response to the coronavirus pandemic that has led to restrictions over people’s movements in countries around the world.