Joshua Cheptegei

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) remains optimistic that the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan will progress as earlier planned between 24th July and 9th August.

The looming scourge of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Asia, particularly in China and across the world has been the talk of talk for the past three weeks with many games postponed.

A joint task committee comprised of members of the IOC, World Health Organization (WHO), Tokyo city authorities and officials of the Japanese Government has been formulated.

ANOCA top brass officials addressing the media at Sheraton Kampala Hotel on Monday, 9th March 2020

This was confirmed by the Africa National Olympic Committee Association secretary Eng. Ahmed Abou Elgasim Hashim during a special press conference at the end of the two day ANOCA Executive board meeting in Kampala, Sheraton Kampala Hotel.

Flanked by the ANOCA President Mustapha Berraf and the Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC) president William Blick, Elgasim who hails from Sudan also read the full IOC statement.

“IOC Executive Board (EB) expressed its full commitment to the success of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 from 24th July to 9th August. The IOC EB heard a report on all the measures taken so far to address the Coronavirus situation, who was followed by a comprehensive discussion.” The report read.

A joint task force had already been created in mid-February, involving the IOC, Tokyo 2020, the host city of Tokoyo, Government of Japan and the World Health Organization (WHO). The IOC EB appreciates and supports the measures being taken, which constitute an important part of Tokyo’s plans to host safe and secure Games. The IOC will continue to follow the advice of WHO…and encourages all athletes to continue preparing for the Olympic Games” the exclusive report adds.

Meanwhile, the Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC) president William Blick who is also the Zone five representative William Blick was awarded with the ANOCA medal of merit for the distinguished service of the Olympic movement in Uganda and the zone.

President Yoweri Museveni Kaguta was given the ANOCA Order of Merit, handed over at his Entebbe based State House on Monday evening.

“We are honoured to be here in Kampala. The medal of merit given to William Blick is for the contribution to sports development.  We thank the authorities in Uganda, ministry of sports and education, National Council of Sports (NCS), UOC especially William Blick and his committee. We had an amazing work relations from this board meeting in the beautiful country. The high-point of our era were the Africa Games in Rabat, Morocco, the first Beach Games in Sal, Cape Verde.  There was a big audience of television (500,000,000 viewers) for the Africa Games in Morocco, done in harmony with African Union (AU). The first beach games in Sal, Cape Verde were also a very big accomplishment. All had big attendences. The perfection and programmes done in good conditions and fully” noted the ANOCA President Mustapha Berraf who spoke in French.

Meanwhile, ANOCA has donated $ 150,000 for the completion of the Uganda Olympia center in Busia.

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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