The International Olympic Committee said on Thursday it had created a fund of $800 million to tackle the financial hardships created by the coronavirus pandemic which has forced the postponement of this year’s Tokyo Olympics until 2021.
IOC president Thomas Bach said the body had released “an envelope of up to $800 million to address the financial consequences of this Covid-19 crisis”.
The envelope has two parts: $650m (602 million euros) which “refers to the cost of organisation” of the postponed Games; and $150m as an aid package for the Olympic movement, in particular international federations and Olympic committees.
Bach said the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed almost 300,000 people worldwide, had had “a very severe financial effect... on the Olympic Games, the entire Olympic movement and the IOC”.
The IOC, which has approximately $1 billion (926 million euros) in reserves, in March took the historic decision to postpone the Games, scheduled to open on July 24, until July 23 to August 8, 2021. It was the first peacetime postponement of the Games.
According to the latest budget, the Games were due to cost $12.6 billion, shared between the organising committee, the government of Japan and Tokyo city.
Bach had warned last month that the postponement would cost the IOC “several hundred million dollars”, adding that while the body would honour its financial obligations to Tokyo, it would probably have to make cuts.