BERLIN: World Sailing has delayed the approval of its financial statements pending a confirmation it has requested from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that this year’s Tokyo Olympics will go ahead.

World Sailing council officials said at their mid-year meeting on Friday that they had requested a confirmation from the IOC regarding Tokyo so as to include the expected revenues from the Games in the their accounts.

However, the IOC has yet to respond.

“Haysmacintyre, as auditors, would be obliged to disclose quite a lot of narrative in the accounts in the event of any uncertainty around Tokyo 2020,” World Sailing’s audit committee chairman Phil Cotton told the online meeting.

“For that reason we approached the IOC for confirmation that one, the Games were going to proceed and two, that funding would flow. We have yet to receive that confirmation.”

Every international federation is guaranteed an Olympic financial contribution after each Olympics as part of a revenue-sharing plan established by the IOC.

Many of the smaller sports federations depend on those funds to operate in the four years between Games.

“So we are recommending that we don’t sign the accounts until a point when we know exactly that the Games will proceed and therefore that issue disappears altogether,” Cotton said.

The Olympics are scheduled for July 23 to Aug 8 after being postponed in March last year over the coronavirus pandemic.

But Japan, battling a surge of infections, has extended until the end of May a state of emergency in its capital, Tokyo, and three areas with most people in Japan, in

polls conducted, not wanting the Games to take place this year.

Critics of Japan’s plan to hold the Olympics despite a fourth wave of coronavirus infections submitted a petition on Friday signed by 350,000 people over nine days calling for the Games to be cancelled.

Published in Dawn, May 17th, 2021

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