The Tokyo Olympics will go ahead in 2021 ‘with or without Covid,’ the International Olympic Committee vice president said on Monday, September 7.
‘It will take place with or without Covid. The Games will start on July 23 next year,’ said John Coates ,who heads the International Olympic Committee’s Coordination Commission for the Tokyo Games.
‘The Games were going to be the Reconstruction Games after the devastation of the tsunami,’ he said, referring to a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan in 2011.
‘Now very much these will be the Games that conquered Covid, the light at the end of the tunnel.’
The Olympics were originally scheduled to start in July 2020, but were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Games are now set to open on July 23, 2021.
Japanese officials have made clear they would not delay sport event a second time beyond 2021.
A recent poll found just one in four people in Japan want them to go ahead next year, with most backing either another postponement or cancellation.
Coates said the Japanese government “haven’t dropped the baton at all” following the postponement, despite the “monumental task” of putting the event back a year.
“Before Covid, (IOC president) Thomas Bach said this is the best prepared Games we’ve ever seen, the venues were almost all finished, they are now finished, the village is amazing, all the transport arrangements, everything is fine,” he said.
“Now it’s been postponed by one year, that’s presented a monumental task in terms of re-securing all the venues… something like 43 hotels we had to get out of those contracts and re-negotiate for a year later.
“Sponsorships had to be extended a year, broadcast rights.”
With much of that work underway, or accomplished, a task force has been set up to look at the different scenarios in 2021 – from how border controls will affect the movement of athletes and officials, to whether fans can pack venues.
The group, comprising Japanese and IOC officials, met for the first time last week to set up a task force to draw out plans required for the games to go ahead in 2021.
“Their job now is to look at all the different counter-measures that will be required for the Games to take place,” said Coates, the long-time president of the Australian Olympic Committee.
“Some countries will have it (Covid) under control, some won’t. We’ll have athletes, therefore, coming from places where it’s under control and some where it is not.
“There’s 206 teams… so there’s a massive task being undertaken on the Japanese side.”
Chelsea complete £22m signing of Senegalese goalkeeper Edouard Mendy from Rennes
Chelsea have completed the signing of goalkeeper Edouard Mendy from Ligue 1 outfit Rennes in a £22m deal.
The Senegalese international, 28, has penned a five-year deal at Stamford Bridge and is expected to become Chelsea’s No 1 ahead of Kepa Arrizabalaga and Willy Caballero.
After signing his long-term contract with the Blues, Mendy said: ‘I am so excited to be joining Chelsea. It’s a dream for me to be a part of this exciting squad and to work with Frank Lampard and all of his coaching staff. I look forward to meeting my team-mates and can’t wait to get started.’
On signing Mendy, Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said: ‘As soon as Petr Cech and our technical team identified Edouard as the most suitable goalkeeper to complement our existing group, there was only one player we wanted to bring in. Edouard arrives following a season of real success with Rennes, he is ambitious for more, and we welcome him to our club.’
Edouard Mendy becomes Chelsea’s seventh signing after the arrival of Hakim Ziyech (Ajax) Malang Sarr (Nice) Ben Chilwell (Leicester) Thiago Silva (PSG), Timo Werner ( RB Leipzig ), and Kai Havertz ( Bayern Leverkusen).
Wolves complete ‘£37m’ signing of Portuguese right-back, Nelson Semedo from Barcelona
Wolves have completed the signing of Barcelona right-back Nelson Semedo for a club-record fee that could rise to £37million.
The Premier League club announced the deal on Twitter on Wednesday September 23, that the 26-year-old Portuguese defender has signed a deal that will keep him at Molineux until June 2023, with an option to extend it to June 2025.
Speaking to the club’s official website after the move was completed, Semedo said: ‘I chose Wolves because it’s a very good team that plays very good football. Last year they did a very good season and it’s a very important team in England, in also Europe. I hope this year we can do very good things.
‘Coach Nuno is a very good coach. He did very good things here in Wolves, and in other teams too. For sure I’m going to learn a lot from him.
‘The team did very good things the last three years. I’m ambitious and I hope this year we can do very good things, reach the top six and, if it’s possible, do something special.
‘I’m very happy to be here. I’m excited to get started and thank you very much for your support and we’re going to enjoy it together.’
Wolves executive chairman Jeff Shi said: “‘Progressive at heart’ is one of our core values at Wolves. For a member of staff, for a player, for the whole club, we are all making great efforts to progress continuously.
“It’s isn’t often that we have the opportunity to sign a world-class player from a world-class club. Nelson’s signing shows we will never stop progressing and we are still hungry and humble in our heart.”
Semedo’s arrival takes Wolves’ summer spending to the £84m mark, after the arrivals of Fabio Silva, Fernando Marcal, Vitor Ferreira and Ki-Jana Hoever.
At Barcelona, he won two La Liga titles and the Cope del Rey following his move to Barcelona from Benfica in 2017, played 42 times for Barcelona last season.
Greek-based Nigerian NBA star, Giannis Antetokounmpo wins Most Valuable Player Award for second straight season
Greek-Based Nigerian NBA star, Giannis Antetokounmpo who plays for Milwaukee Bucks basketball team in the US, has been named the Most Valuable Player Award for second straight season.
The 25-year-old star becomes the third player in league history to win MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season, joining only Hall of Famers Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon. He is also the 12th player in history to win the NBA’s MVP award twice in a row.
Antetokounmpo beat out James Harden of the Houston Rockets and LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers to win the award.
Antetokounmpo earned 962 total points from a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters as well as the Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award fan vote. Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James finished in second place with 753 points, while Houston Rockets guard James Harden finished in third place with 367 points.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was born in Greece to Nigerian parents, Charles and Veronica Antetokounmpo.