Tokyo Olympics to be cancelled: Report

The Japanese government has privately concluded this year's Tokyo Olympics will have to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report in .

The Games, which were postponed from 2020 to 2021, are scheduled to be held in July and August.

"The Japanese government has privately concluded that the Tokyo Olympics will have to be cancelled because of the coronavirus," The Times' Richard Lloyd Parry wrote. "The focus is now on securing the Games for the city in the next available year, 2032."

The Times quotes a senior member of the ruling coalition party, who says organisers are looking for a face-saving way of announcing the cancellation.

"No one wants to be the first to say so but the consensus is that it's too difficult," a source told The Times. "Personally, I don't think it's going to happen."

The reports come just a day after IOC officials possibly without crowds.

"The question is — is this a 'must-have' or 'nice-to-have.' It's nice to have spectators. But it's not a must-have," senior IOC member Dick Pound said in an interview with Japan's Kyodo news agency.

This year's Tokyo Olympics are in danger of being cancelled, according to reports.

"Nobody can guarantee the Olympics will open on July 23. But I think there's a very, very, good chance that they can, and that they will."

But opposition to the Games is growing in Japan, with a recent poll showing 80 percent of respondents felt the Olympics should not go ahead in the face of surging virus cases.

Japanese media said the opening ceremony would be limited to about 6000 people, although 11,000 athletes were expected in Tokyo.

"I think the IOC and the organisers are committed to going ahead with the games, if at all possible," Pound said. "And so they're not going to cancel unless there's a consensus among the government, health authorities and the IOC that it would be too dangerous."

With Paris already confirmed as the host of the 2024 Olympics, and Los Angeles locked in for 2028, any move by Tokyo to target the 2032 Games would spell bad news for Brisbane, which is well advanced with it's bid.

The Australian Olympic Committee said on Friday that it still expects the Tokyo Games to be held this year.

"Both Japanese Prime Minister (Yoshihide) Suga and IOC President (Thomas) Bach have this week strongly reaffirmed their commitment to the Tokyo Olympic Games going ahead in July this year," the AOC said in a statement.

"The AOC is continuing its planning to ensuring the Australian Olympic Team arrives in Tokyo, competes and returns home safe and COVID-free.

"The AOC, Federal Government, Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council are continuing to progress the candidature for the Olympic Games to be held in Queensland in 2032  - and that process continues."

For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by