Sport

Coronavirus and sports: Japan to ‘scrap’ Olympics if pandemic continues

April 28

— Tokyo 2021 to be canceled if pandemic continues

Olympic organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori said that the already postponed Games in Tokyo would not be postponed a second time if the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t improve by next year.

In an interview with Japan’s Nikkan Sports newspaper, Mori was emphatic when asked if the Games could be postponed again until 2022.

“No. In that case, the Olympics will be scrapped,” he said. But the former Japanese prime minister remained confident that the games can go ahead in 2021.

“We have delayed the Olympics until next summer after we will have won the battle,” he was quoted as saying.

“The Olympics would be much more valuable than any Olympics in the past if we could go ahead with it after winning this battle. We have to believe this otherwise our hard work and efforts will not be rewarded.”

The International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government announced in March that the Tokyo Olympics, originally scheduled to take place from July 24 to August 9, would be moved to July 2021 because of the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

April 27 

— Werder Bremen weighing up extreme measures

Bundesliga side Werder Bremen would consider playing home games outside their own stadium if the Bundesliga resumed with matches behind closed doors, according to chairman Klaus Filbry.

“If it turns out to be the case that we’re not able to play in Bremen, then we will have to keep alternative locations in mind,” Filbry told Radio Bremen. “I can’t rule it out.”

His comments came after Bremen’s interior minister, Ulrich Maeurer, said he was opposed to having matches placed behind closed doors at Bremen’s Weser Stadium. Werder currently find themselves in second from bottom in Germany’s top flight

FIFA considering allowing five substitutions

If and when the Bundesliga resumes, matches will not only have to be played behind doors but also in relatively quick succession in order to finish the season by the DFL’s target date of June 30.

And so, in order to lessen the physical strain on the players, world governing body FIFA is reportedly considering increasing the number of substitutions per team from three to five. In knock-out ties which go to extra time, an additional sixth substitution would also be permitted, however teams would still be limited to three stoppages of play to make the changes.

The rule could remain in place until the end of 2021 as football continues to come to terms with the challenges of the coronavirus, but first it needs to be officially approved by the International Football Association Board.

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