A man jogs past the Olympic rings in Tokyo. AP
Olympics chief Thomas Bach said 2021 was the "last option" for holding the delayed Tokyo Games on Thursday, stressing that postponement cannot go on forever.
Bach told the BBC that he agreed with Japan's stance that the Games will have to be cancelled if the coronavirus pandemic isn't under control by next year.
In March, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics were postponed to July 23, 2021 as the coronavirus spread across the globe, killing hundreds of thousands of people and making international sport impossible.
"Quite frankly, I have some understanding for (Japan's position) because you cannot forever employ 3,000, or 5,000, people in an organising committee," the International Olympic Committee president said.
"You cannot every year change the entire sports schedule worldwide for all the major federations.
"You cannot have the athletes being in uncertainty, you cannot have so much overlapping with a future Olympic Games."
The Olympics have never been cancelled outside of the world wars, but Japanese officials have been clear that they have no intention of postponing the Games again beyond next year.
The Japanese capital and Olympic host city Tokyo is on track to report a record number of coronavirus cases, days after the Olympics began, exceeding the earlier record of 2,520 cases from Jan. 7.
Nippon Television reported that the cases in Tokyo city hit a record high near 4,000 on Thursday as two people attending the Tokyo Olympics from overseas have been admitted to hospital with COVID-19.
Thankfully the spotlight these days is on Tokyo Olympics and Egypt is in the news, not for political developments, but for its gains on the football pitch (Egypt beat Australia to join Brazil in quarter-finals,” July 29, Gulf Today). It is indeed a great
Vaccine nationalism is a new concept in the current COVID-19 era, which is likely to hinder the global health and economic recovery causing more harm than the pandemic itself. Governments are scrambling to acquire vaccines for their populations
Cameroon finished third on four points, two points below second-placed Switzerland, who defeated Serbia 3-2. Brazil, who had already qualified, finished on top on goal difference with six points and will face South Korea in the last 16.
Coach Fernando Santos made six changes from the team that beat Uruguay to clinch qualification for the knock-outs, with Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva and Joao Felix among those rested.
The 47-year-old went for checks after feeling unwell around lunchtime, with The Australian newspaper saying it was a heart issue but not serious. "I only heard it a minute ago," Australian skipper Pat Cummins said in a press conference after the third day's play.