The Tokyo 2020 summer Olympic and Paralympic games will be moved to next year as the world battles the coronavirus outbreak.
The event had been due to begin on July 24th.
Following a decision earlier, officials at the International Olympics Committee (IOC) said the event would now begin “no later than summer 2021”.
The move was confirmed in a joint statement by IOC president, Thomas Bach, and Abe Shinzo, prime minister of Japan.
Organisers pointed to the unprecedented and unpredictable spread of the Covid-19 outbreak for the delay.
On Monday, the director general of the World Health Organisation, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that the pandemic was “accelerating”.
There are more than 375,000 cases now recorded worldwide and in nearly every country, and their number is growing by the hour.
To date Japan has seen relatively few cases, with just over 1,00 infections and 43 deaths.
These figures have, however, been growing quickly in recent days.
Over the weekend, the IOC had given itself a deadline of four weeks to consider delaying the games.
The organisation had been under mounting pressure from a host of Olympic committees and athletes demanding a quicker decision.
Canada became the first major country to withdraw from both events on…