Logo Tokyo Olympics Organizers Say Cancellation Report ‘Fake News’
FILE - In this March 4, 2020, file photo, people wearing masks walk past the Olympic rings near the New National Stadium in Tokyo. It's been 2 1/2 months since the Tokyo Olympics were postponed until next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. So where do the games stand? So far, many ideas about how the Olympic can take place are being floated by the International Olympic Committee, Japanese officials and politicians, and in unsourced Japanese newspaper articles coming from local organizers and politicians. The focus is on soaring costs, fans, or no fans, possible quarantines for athletes, and cutting back to only “the essentials." (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
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Tokyo Olympics organizers say cancellation report ‘fake news’

Tokyo Olympics organisers played down a poll showing plunging support for the Games on Tuesday and said a report claiming cancellation could be discussed next month was “fake news”.

The comments, less than 200 days before the postponed Games start in July, come with greater Tokyo under a state of emergency over a spike in coronavirus cases and with countries around the world battling outbreaks.

In a New Year’s address to staff, Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto put a positive spin on a Kyodo news poll published Sunday showing 45 per cent want the 2020 Games delayed again, with 35 per cent favouring outright cancellation.

“The number of people calling for it to be cancelled has only risen by about five per cent,” Muto said.

“The number of people calling for it to be postponed has risen a lot, but that means those people still want it to be held,” he added.

“Of course, for it to be held, we have to guarantee that we hold a safe Games with anti-virus measures. If you think of it in those terms, I firmly believe people will get more and more behind it.”

British rowing great Matthew Pinsent has called for the Games to be cancelled and Tokyo to host the event in 2024 instead, replacing Paris.

Muto also dismissed as “fake news” a Japanese media report claiming the International Olympic Committee and Tokyo 2020 organisers would debate the fate of the Games in February.

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