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IBSA reaction to the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

Date: March 24, 2020

Category: Football

IBSA President Jannie Hammershoi spoke in support of the decision to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games to 2021, following the announcement from the International Olympic Committee on Tuesday (24 March).

"Today, the International Olympic Committee announced the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games until 2021.

"Over the last few weeks and months the global sports calendar has more or less completely stopped and more and more countries are asking their citizens to stay at home.

"The effects of this on the athlete community has been profound. Many cannot train properly and have been denied the chance to compete as we all try to do our bit to slow the spread of coronavirus and protect the vulnerable.

"I have been struck at how many athletes have been keen to put the health and wellbeing of their communities ahead of their own competitive ambitions. It has been truly awe-inspiring to witness.

"It is however clear that we have some way to go yet until we can say that we have overcome this horrible virus.

The decision therefore to postpone Tokyo 2020 until 2021 is the right one, for everyone.

"When the Paralympic Games officially open next year after we have come out of the other side, it will be an even bigger platform to show the world what can be achieved when the values of courage, determination, inspiration and equality continue to burn bright in the hearts of Para athletes.

"I thank the International Paralympic Committee for their support and advocacy for Para-athletes during this time.

"We will now be awaiting further guidance on what our next steps should be to prepare in the best way for the new arrangements, and will communicate with all our stakeholders when we know more.

"I would like to reassure all athletes and IBSA members that we will continue to work hard to ensure that the Paralympic Games in 2021 will be a tremendous success.

"I am confident that the Games will still go down in history as one of the best.

"Take care of yourselves and stay safe."

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