Japan Olympics Committee (JOC) president Tsunekazu Takeda has warned his colleagues to be careful with their words from now on to avoid the recent gaffe by Tokyo governor Naoki Inose that may affect their bid to host the 2020 Olympics. His statements, printed in an interview with The New York Times has put Tokyo’s Olympic bid in jeopardy due to an apparent violation in the bid rules, which forbids a bidding city from criticizing in public any rival city.
Takeda told his colleagues in a meeting to carefully observe and follow the rules on bidding and “make sure this kind of trouble does not occur a second time.” Former IOC vice president Chiharu Igaya added that politics and religion are “complicated issues” and that all members of the committee have to be careful with whatever they say. Inose got in hot water when, during the interview, he made “inappropriate” remarks about Islam and the capability of rival candidate Istanbul to host the Olympics. This immediately prompted the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to investigate and Turkey’s sports minister to respond that his statements are against the spirit and values of the Olympics.
Even though Inose has since then apologized for his statements and the IOC has also said that there will be no sanctions against Tokyo because of the incident, many are still afraid that Inose has undone all the good work that the Tokyo 2020 bid committee has finished, and may still have a negative impact on their bid. Aside from Istanbul and Tokyo, Madrid is the other city bidding to host the games in 2020. The winner will be announced in September at the next IOC session in Argentina this September.
[ via Yahoo Sports ]