June 10, 2020 / 12:11 PM / a month ago

Tokyo Games will not be done with splendour, but will be simplified, says CEO Muto

TOKYO (Reuters) - Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto said on Wednesday that the rearranged Olympics will “not be done with grand splendour”, but will be simplified.

The Games, originally scheduled to start next month, were postponed for a year in March by the International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since then, organisers have been looking at ways to reduce costs and streamline the Games.

Following a virtual presentation to the IOC Executive Board in Lausanne, Tokyo 2020 organisers stressed the need to simplify the Games without giving details about how it would be done.

“The Games will not be a grand splendour but will be a simplified Games,” said Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto.

“In order to simplify the Games, we need to review and understand international federations, NOCs, broadcasters and partners. These stakeholders must act in unison to make sure of a simplified Games.”

Muto said more than 200 ideas to simplify and reduce costs for the rescheduled Games had been discussed but gave no timeframe as to when these changes might be implemented.

“We have not got to the level or stage where we have concrete ideas regarding what we can do to simplify the Games,” he said.

In May, the IOC said they would be putting up to $650 million towards the re-organisation of the Games.

Muto said Tokyo 2020 were still analysing what costs the Japanese side would have to bear.

Despite the unprecedented challenges, Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori said that cancelling the Games had not been discussed with the IOC.

FILE PHOTO: Mar 24, 2020; Tokyo, Japan; Olympic rings monument at Rainbow Bridge, Odaiba, Tokyo. On Monday the IOC announced that the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics Games would be postponed due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Mandatory Credit: Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports

“The world has changed socially, economically and medically so we have explained (to the IOC) how we have re-planned and re-positioned our organization,” said Mori, a former Japanese prime minister.

“We never discussed cancellation. It is not right to discuss based upon speculation regarding hypothetical scenarios. Therefore, our direction, our policy is to not consider, at all, the cancellation.”

The IOC Executive Board are meeting in Lausanne on Wednesday with President Thomas Bach expected to speak to the media later.

Reporting by Jack Tarrant. Editing by Gerry Doyle and Christian Radnedge

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