Thomas Bach Image Credit: AP

Dubai: A whopping $800 million: That’s the amount the International Olympic Committee (IOC) expects to lose due to the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The IOC Executive Board met late on Thursday via video conference, and at the end of the meeting, IOC President Thomas Bach announced that the organisation stands to lose out on $800 million (Dhs 2.9 billion) due to the postponement of the Summer Games by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Of this amount, $150 million will form an “aid package” for the Olympic Movement.

The announcement is significant as it is the first time the IOC has publicly revealed the extent of the additional costs it expects to bear for its part in organising the now re-scheduled 2020 Games at the same time next year.

The amount of $150 million has been set aside for International Federations and National Olympic Committees, but at the moment it is not clear how they can apply for the funding or whether there is a cap on the amount they can receive.

The $650 million will go towards the organisation of the postponed Games. The majority of the additional costs stemming from the decision to delay the event by one year in response to the coronavirus pandemic are set to be covered by Japan under the terms of the Host City Contract it signed with the IOC in 2013.

At the end of the meeting, Bach claimed the $800 million would help “address the financial consequences of the COVID-19 crisis”. The figure does not include any costs Tokyo Games organisers and the Japanese Government have to incur following the first postponement of an Olympic and Paralympic Games.

But Bach refused to be drawn on recent suggestions that Tokyo 2020, rescheduled for July 23 to August 8, 2021, cannot take place unless a COVID-19 vaccine is found.

A man wears a protective mask in front of a banner for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
A man wears a protective mask in front of a banner for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Image Credit: Reuters

“We are now working with full engagement for the success of Tokyo 2020 in 2021 and to have these Games in a safe environment for all participants,” Bach said.

“We are one year and two months away from the opening of these postponed Olympic Games. We should not fuel any speculation on any future development.”

International Federations in particular have been left counting the cost of the postponement of Tokyo 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, and the money is set to plug the financial hole created by the absence of their share of the Olympic revenue that they would have received from the IOC after the Games.

Bach confirmed the IOC would still consider advance payments to IFs and the aid package did not mean it would now reject requests for assistance, adding discussions with some federations over financial support were at an advanced stage.

Only Swiss-based IFs will be eligible for the Government loans, while all 32 IFs on the Tokyo 2020 programme can receive money from the IOC package.