The Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa has reaffirmed its belief that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be held successfully as scheduled in July, despite threats of the coronavirus across the globe.
“The Anoca would like to reaffirm its unconditional support to the IOC and its president, Mr Thomas Bach, in the light of the recent events surrounding the effective holding of the Summer Olympic Games of Tokyo from July 24 to August 9 as a result of the coronavirus crisis shaking the entire planet,” Anoca president Mustapha Berraf, said in a statement to the press at Sheraton Hotel, Kampala yesterday.
The deadly COVID-19 virus which was first detected in China, has rocked the whole world now, with several sports events including many Olympic qualifiers either rescheduled or canceled. This has left many wondering whether the Olympics will happen in July and in Japan.
“The members welcome with satisfaction the establishment, under its auspices of a task force, including the IOC, the organising committee, the city of Tokyo, the Japanese government and the World Health Organisation in search for a “fair solution” with the international federations in order to guarantee an effective participation of the athletes in the Games through qualifications.”
Uganda Olympic Committee president William Blick, who is also part of the IOC task force, echoed Berraf’s remarks and vowed to ensure that precautionary measures by the IOC, WHO and the government of Uganda are followed “for the maximum safety of the athletes.”
At the peak of the 55th Anoca meet in Kampala, Blick was awarded the Anoca Medal of Merit, the first to any national Olympic committee leader in Africa, for his excellent service of the Olympic Movement.
“Uganda has one the best Olympic committees in Africa,” Berraf said in French through a translator. “Even if Blick is my friend, I wouldn’t have given him this medal if he wasn’t a good leader.”
President Museveni was also honoured with the Anoca Order of Merit for his commitment to promoting sports. “Making his wife the minister of education and sports shows that sports is a priority in his government,” said Anoca secretary Ahmed Elgasim.
Anoca also committed US$150, 000 (Shs555m) to the upgrade of the Olympia Africa Youths Center in Busia, a development centre named after the late Major General Francis Nyangweso, a former UOC president.
FORMULA 1: The Bahrain Grand Prix from March 20-22 will be behind closed doors.
FOOTBALL: Uefa has banned pre-match handshakes between players and officials in all its competitions until further notice.
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ATHLETICS: The Barcelona Marathon, which was scheduled for March 15, has been postponed until October 25.
*The World Athletics Half Marathon in Gdynia, Poland, slated for March 29, are postponed until October 17.
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