Olympics: Jordan to hold boxing qualifiers after move from Wuhan due to virus fears: IOC

The Olympic Rings monument is illuminated at Odaiba Marine Park to commemorate half a year before the opening of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, on Jan 24, 2020. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

TOKYO (REUTERS) - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said Jordan will host the 2020 Olympics boxing qualifiers for Asia and Oceania after an event in China's Wuhan was cancelled due to fears over the new flu-like coronavirus.

The death toll from the virus rose to 41 on Saturday, with more than 1,300 infected globally, but most of the cases and all of the deaths so far have been in Wuhan, where officials have imposed severe restrictions on travel and public gatherings.

The IOC said in a statement on Friday (Jan 24) that the qualification event would take place in Amman from March 3 to 11.

"After a careful review of all alternatives, the BTF (Boxing Task Force) approved the proposal of the Jordan Olympic Committee today, in order to confirm the competition dates and location as soon as possible, in the best interest of the athletes preparing for the qualifier," the IOC said.

Preparations for the boxing tournament at the Tokyo Olympic have already been upended after the IOC in June took over the competition and suspended the international boxing federation due to issues with its finances and governance.

The global boxing body has been in turmoil over its finances and governance for years with the federation US$16 million (S$21.6 million) in debt. It has also been split internally by an ongoing bitter battle over the presidency.

The IOC has instead set up a BTF, led by its member and International Gymnastics Federation head Morinari Watanabe, to organise the boxing events.

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