Betting markets not as confident as Abe that Olympics 2020 will happen on schedule

Markets suggest Olympics may not happen as planned

Shinzo Abe /Prime Minister Japan ©imago images / Kyodo News 17.03.2020

Just over the weekend, Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe was telling the world that the Olympics 2020 was going to go ahead as planned. Last week the Olympic torch was lit in Greece, although the usual relay around Greece was cancelled.

Abe confidence misplaced?

The Olympic torch is set to arrive for the start of the Japan relay on March 26th.

Abe seemed really confident telling the press that delaying the Games basically wasn’t even on the table and worth talking about.

The Prime Minister went on to explain that the country had a relatively low coronavirus infection rate and that there wasn’t a need to declare a national emergency either.

75% chance of Olympics not starting on schedule

However at Betfair in the “Will Opening Ceremony Take Place on 24/07/2020 market”, the odds tell a different tale, one of a lot less confidence than Abe has.

The No option is at 1/4 against the 23/10 on the Yes* (betting odds taken from Betfair at 00:12 GMT on Tuesday 17th March 2020).

So what punters are looking at is a 75% chance that the Olympics are not going to go ahead due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Qualification issues

There is going to be another meeting by the IOC on Tuesday this week to discuss the situation further and how much disruption has been caused to qualifying events.

With so many Olympic qualification events from rowing, wrestling to diving having already been postponed in the USA it paints a clear picture. The delays in actually sorting out qualifications are a huge factor in whether or not the Olympics could actually go ahead on time.

Not to mention banking on the outbreak having subsided enough to allow the Games to proceed fully staffed and all the other massive logics involved like travel.

The Olympics 2020 are due to start on July 24th and run through August 9th.