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National committees have final say on qualified athletes for Tokyo Games

Video credit: Reuters - Sports
Published on April 2, 2020 - Duration: 04:56s

National committees have final say on qualified athletes for Tokyo Games

The IOC says athletes already qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will need to be picked again by their respective National Olympic Committees to compete at the postponed Games in 2021.

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National committees have final say on qualified athletes for Tokyo Games

RESENDING WITH UPDATED SCRIPT VIDEO SHOWS: AUDIO OF SOUNDBITES FROM IOC SPORTS DIRECTOR, KIT MCCONNELL AND IOC'S OLYMPIC GAMES EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CHRISTOPHE DUBI, SHOWS: UNKNOWN LOCATION (APRIL 2, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) IOC SPORTS DIRECTOR, KIT MCCONNELL, SAYING: (AUDIO IS OVERLAID BY REUTERS PICTURE OF KIT MCCONNELL) "All of the qualifications that have been achieved by an NOC (National Olympic Committee) or by an athlete remain in place.

Now yes, because it's defined in the Olympic charter any athlete that goes to the Games needs to be individually selected by their National Olympic Committee because they are representing the NOC.

But in all sports the NOC retains the right to select the individual athlete from anyone who is eligible to fill that place." 2.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) IOC SPORTS DIRECTOR, KIT MCCONNELL, SAYING: (AUDIO IS OVERLAID BY REUTERS PICTURE OF KIT MCCONNELL) "Look, one of the interesting things with moving the dates is not only in football but in several sports there are specific age regulations in place; be it a minimum age or a maximum age and some cases that's designed to be for health and safety reasons - in others it's to provide a specific age group and in particular men's football where we have the restriction on to under-23 with the four players over that date.

As you can imagine we're only a few days after the decision to know exactly when the Games are but we're in discussions with each of the federations including FIFA where those age regulations are specified in the qualifying systems and we hope to finalise that in the next couple of weeks for everyone's certainty.

So no decisions yet but you can imagine there's a logic to looking at that and having the same athletes or teams that achieve the qualification place to be the ones taking part next year but only to confirm that with the respective international federations including FIFA in the next couple of weeks." 3.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) IOC'S OLYMPIC GAMES EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CHRISTOPHE DUBI, SAYING: (AUDIO IS OVERLAID BY REUTERS PICTURE OF CHRISTOPHE DUBI) "The (athletes') village is part of the first priority.

The village is the home away from home for the athletes.

It's a fantastic development that has been made here.

So yes it's part of the very first task to re-secure this fantastic property that has been developed and will become, as you know, as of 2023 a new community in the Bay of Tokyo so yes absolutely it's part of that urgency list that we want to tick those boxes." 4.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) IOC'S OLYMPIC GAMES EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CHRISTOPHE DUBI, SAYING: (AUDIO IS OVERLAID BY REUTERS PICTURE OF CHRISTOPHE DUBI) "So it's a massive undertaking to get back to the fundamentals and make sure that in a matter of weeks we have secured and locked all of this so that then the other task which is to plan for the remainder of the 16 months to go can be done having some certainty regarding these fundamental pieces that needs to be in place." TOKYO, JAPAN (FILE - DECEMBER 15, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 5.

VARIOUS OF OLYMPIC RINGS OUTSIDE NATIONAL STADIUM TOKYO, JAPAN (FILE - DECEMBER 15, 2019) (FOREIGN POOL - ACCESS ALL) 6.

VARIOUS INTERIORS OF NATIONAL STADIUM SAPPORO, JAPAN (FILE - APRIL 10, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 7.

VARIOUS EXTERIORS OF SAPPORO DOME, WHICH WILL HOST SOCCER MATCHES DURING OLYMPICS TOKYO, JAPAN (FILE - NOVEMBER 21, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 8.

VARIOUS EXTERIORS OF AQUATICS CENTRE, WHICH WILL HOST SWIMMING AND DIVING DURING OLYMPICS 9.

VARIOUS INTERIORS OF AQUATICS CENTRE TOKYO, JAPAN (MARCH 26, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 10.

TOKYO 2020 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC ATHLETES VILLAGE 11.

VARIOUS OF WORK UNDERWAY AT ATHLETES VILLAGE 12.

VARIOUS OF APARTMENTS AT ATHLETES VILLAGE 13.

WORK UNDERWAY AT APARTMENTS AT ATHLETES VILLAGE 14.

APARTMENTS AT ATHLETES VILLAGE STORY: Athletes already qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will need to be picked again by their respective National Olympic Committees to compete at the postponed Games in 2021, the International Olympic Committee said on Thursday (April 2).

The IOC and Japanese government succumbed to intense pressure from athletes and sporting bodies around the world last week by agreeing to postpone the Games by a year to 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Some 57% of the 11,000 athletes had already qualified for the Tokyo Games this year before qualification tournaments were scrapped as the virus spread in recent months.

Those athletes, the IOC said, would keep their qualification but would need to be re-selected for next year by their National Olympic Committee again as they represented a nation and not themselves.

"All of the qualifications that have been achieved by National Olympic Committees and individual athletes remain in place," IOC Sports director Kit McConnell said in a conference call.

"Any athlete needs to be individually selected because they represent their NOC.

In all sports the NOC retains the right to select the athletes." McConnell said the IOC was also in talks with world soccer body FIFA to decide on tournament next year, as only players aged under 23 are allowed to compete apart from a limited number of over-age players per team.

In many cases footballers will be above the age limit next year although having qualified this year.

"In several sports there are specific age regulations, minimum or maximum, for health safety or to provide an age group as in men's football with under-23." "We are in discussions with FIFA... We have to finalise that in the coming weeks." The IOC is also efforting to make the athletes' village available again after it was planned to be sold off as apartments after this year's Games.

"The village is part of the first priority," the IOC's Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi said.

"The village is the home away from home, a fantastic development.

It is one of the very first tasks to re-secure this fantastic property.

Yes, it is absolutely on that urgency list".

Dubi said those first priority venues, including the dozens of sports venues, convention sites and thousands of hotel rooms, would need to be re-secured quickly.

"All of this has to be re-secured for one year later," Dubi said.

"It is a massive undertaking to get back to fundamentals." He added that the IOC planned to have finalised talks for those "priority" locations in a matter of weeks.

(Production: Tim Hart)

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