Tokyo 2020 Coordination Commission chair John Coates admits organisers have "real problems" over the postponed Olympic Games as countries struggle to control the coronavirus crisis.
Coates warned that Tokyo 2020 would need to begin preparing for a "very different" Olympic Games if there were no signs of the novel coronavirus being eradicated by October.
He told a media roundtable held by Australia’s News Corp that one of the key challenges was arrival of athletes from across the world into Japan, with several countries struggling to slow the spread of coronavirus.
"We’ve got real problems because we’ve got athletes having to come from 206 different nations," Coates said.
"Yesterday, there was 10,000 new cases in Brazil.
"Very few countries are as advanced in coping with this as Australia.
"We’ve got 11,000 athletes coming, 5,000 technical officials and coaches, 20,000 media, we’ve got 4,000 working on the Organising Committee there at the moment and there will be 60,000 volunteers coming.
"There’s a lot of people.
"The Games can only happen in 2021.
"We can’t postpone it again and we have to assume that there won’t be a vaccine or, if there is a vaccine, it won’t be sufficient to share around the world."
Coates echoed comments made by Thomas Bach yesterday, with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President admitting planning was needed for different possible scenarios due to the uncertainty over the pandemic.
The former IOC vice-president said October could prove a key month in guiding plans for the Games, with possible quarantines and restrictions on spectators potentially necessary.
Coates said organisers are developing a range of scenarios this year, but admitted the Games could be "very different" to what people are used to.
The rescheduled Olympic Games are due to take place from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, with the Paralympic Games following from August 24 to September 5.