The South African Hockey Association has welcomed the postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games announced on Tuesday in a joint statement by President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach and the Prime Minister of Japan, Abe Shinzo because of the Covid-19 virus.

The Games have now been rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than the 2021 summer, in order to safeguard the health of the athletes and everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.

"The postponement was inevitable given the global pandemic of COVID-19.  This is a most pragmatic approach taken by the IOC.  We welcome the decision and applaud the IOC for putting athletes Health & Safety first." shared SA Hockey CEO Marissa Langeni

The joint-statement also stated that in their meeting leading to the announcement it was agreed that the world's biggest multi-sporting event will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.

The FIH said in a statement from CEO Theirry Weill that they supported the prudent and necessary decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee to postpone the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"On behalf of the International Hockey Federation (FIH), I would like to thank and express our full support to the International Olympic Committee, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the Japanese authorities and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government for the decision taken to postpone the Olympics to next year.

This decision brings clarity to the global hockey community and I’m sure it is supported by all athletes who are currently facing important challenges to train at this unprecedented time. The focus today is on staying at home to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The message of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch that “Hope Lights Our Way” could not be more pertinent at this time.

We look forward to outstanding Olympic Games in Tokyo next year!""