Horse sport’s world governing body is looking at how the Olympic Games postponement announced by the IOC today will impact on the FEI Calendar in 2021, and the ramifications for qualifications and Minimum Eligibility Requirements.
During a conference call a few hours ago International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach and Japan’s Prime Minister Abe Shinzo concluded that the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games must be rescheduled to a date no later than summer 2021, because of the “unprecedented and unpredictable spread” of the Covid-19 virus.
It will be the first time the modern Olympics have been postponed in the event’s 124-year history.
Yesterday, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the Covid-19 pandemic is “accelerating”. There are more than 375,000 cases now recorded worldwide and in nearly every country, and their number is growing by the hour.
FEI president Ingmar De Vos said it was “desperately disappointing” news for athletes in all sports who had Tokyo 2020 as their goal for this year, but “it is good to have a decision that gives us a degree of certainty we can all work around, even though there is no news as yet on the rescheduled dates for either the Olympic or Paralympic Games”.
De Vos said the FEI was already in the process of evaluating how to make the Olympic changes work and mitigate against its effects on next year’s equestrian calendar.
The move was made in order to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community. The IOC Athletes Commission said it welcomed and fully supported the IOC’s decision to postpone the Games.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has given its full support to the decision of the Japanese Government and the IOC, and has confirmed that the Paralympic Games will also be postponed until 2021.
Bach and Shinzo agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present. It was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan, and was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.