International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach says he understands why the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Games would have to be cancelled if it cannot take place next summer, APA-Sport reports citing BBC Sport.
Local organisers have said they have no back-up plan after the event was postponed by a year because of the coronavirus crisis.
"You cannot forever employ 3,000 to 5,000 people in an organising committee," Bach told BBC Sport. "You cannot have the athletes being in uncertainty."
In a wide-ranging interview, Bach also:
- admitted the job of re-organising the Games was "a mammoth task"
- warned that the event would "definitely be different" with a focus on "essentials"
- would not be drawn on whether a vaccine for Covid-19 would be needed for the event to take place
- insisted staging the Games behind closed doors was "not what we want", but he needs more time to consider whether that was feasible
Bach said he hoped the first ever postponed Games, which are due to take place from 23 July to 8 August 2021, could prove "unique" and send "a message of solidarity among the entire world, coming for the first time together again, and celebrating the triumph over coronavirus".
"There is no blueprint for it so we have to reinvent the wheel day by day. It's very challenging and at the same time fascinating."