Sarina Wiegman: “Olympic Games should be a celebration”

KNVB Media
KNVB Media
25 March, 22:15

The Orange Lionesses were looking forward to their Olympic debut - Foto: KNVB Media

The KNVB has taken note of the IOC's decision this afternoon to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The Games will now take place in 2021. The exact time-frame has not been determined yet, but it will be no later than the summer of that year.

Netherlands manager Sarina Wiegman: "I’ve said it before: with everything going on in the world right now, now is not the time to talk about disappointments or setbacks. The corona crisis affects each and everyone of us, and it deserves our attention and energy now. I'm not just speaking for myself, I know that the whole squad feels the same way. Don’t get me wrong, all of us had highlighted Tuesday 22 July – the date of our first Olympic match – in our diary. We've been very much looking forward to it. But the Olympics should be a celebration for athletes, football fans and sports fans all over the world. And it certainly wouldn't have been as things stand at the moment.”

“I am glad that the IOC is putting the health of athletes as well as the entire international community first. Of course, it's good to know where we stand; the Games have been postponed, not cancelled."

 

EURO 2021

There may now be more clarity, but the decision also gives rise to more questions in other areas. Wiegman: "One of the issues is the 2021 UEFA Women's Championship. UEFA indicated last week that the European finals tournament, originally planned from 7 July to 1 August, will be rescheduled. We need to watch out that these two beautiful events don’t coincide."

On behalf of KNVB management, Jan Dirk van der Zee, responds: “"Given the current global situation, this is a very logical decision by the IOC. It won’t come as unexpected for anyone. Nonetheless, it will be a huge disappointment for all athletes and all those involved who have been preparing and looking forward for a long time to the planned starting date. I hope everyone will be able to refocus and join the Games next year. More importantly, I hope everyone stays healthy."

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