While announcing the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics 2020 due to the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) did not give a specific date but on Wednesday said that the Games will happen “beyond 2020 but not later than summer of 2021”.

“This is not restricted just to the summer months. All the options are on the table, before and including the summer of 2021,” IOC Chief Thomas Bach said in a conference call as quoted by PTI via AFP.

The World Athletics on Monday said that it was willing to postpone the world championships, which are scheduled in August next year in Eugene, Oregon, to accommodate the 2020 Tokyo Olympics at that time.

The International Swimming Federation has also supported the decision to postpone the Games and said it would reschedule the next year’s world championship in Fukuoka, Japan, to make sure the Olympics can be staged without any difficulties.

Meanwhile, despite their initial reluctance to postpone this year’s Summer Games, the IOC and the organising committee on Tuesday announced the decision to reschedule the Olympics to 2021 after holding a teleconference call with Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the other stakeholders on Tuesday.

Both Japan and the IOC were adamant to keep the Tokyo Olympics on schedule. While the IOC chief had said there was no need for a drastic decision, the Japanese PM had pledged to host the Games as scheduled and refused to declare the crisis an emergency in his country.

However, with Canada and Australia withdrawing from the Games on Monday, the pressure piled up on the authorities. Both the countries stated that it won’t be sending its contingent to Tokyo 2020 Olympics unless the tournament happens next year.