Youth and Sports Development Minister Sunday Dare has commended the International Olympic Committee for postponing the Tokyo 2020 Olympics due to the covid-19 pandemic.
The Nigeria Basketball Federation, through the president Musa Kida, has also praised the IOC for the decision.
Dare said in Abuja, “The IOC must be commended for postponing the Olympics in the best interest of the whole world. This is in response to the general calls across the globe to have it moved to a time when the virus would have abated. As much as we were all looking up to the event, the safety and well being of the athletes, officials and fans alike is of paramount importance.
“We cannot afford to toy with the lives of millions of people around the world. At a time like this, it is the best way to go.”
Dare noted that the IOC cannot stand alone and it had taken the decision in the overall best interest of safety of all the members of the Olympic family.
“This decision is an attestation of the fact that the IOC is sensitive and puts premium on the safety of people. This would douse any fear or tension about going against the general consensus which clamoured for a shift in date. We believe that once the pandemic is over, the world can come together in unity to celebrate sports biggest fiesta.”
Following calls for the postponement of the games, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abey and IOC President Thomas Bach said at a joint press conference that the decision to move the games to a later date was in the best interest of the whole world until the situation returns to normal. They resolved that the event would remain in Japan and retain the name Tokyo 2020.
From the Kida said: “The postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is the right step taken at such a critical time because as the saying goes, nothing is worth human life. We know this decision will come at an additional cost to sponsors, vendors, the government of Japan, participating countries and their athletes, but it is a necessary step.”