Spring Olympics 2021 not ruled out as Tokyo faces additional £2 billion bill

Now the right call has finally been made to postpone Tokyo 2020, a taskforce labelled "Here We Go" by the Japanese organising committee has been charged with rearranging the Games for some time next year.

On Wednesday morning the International Olympic Committee President, Thomas Bach, suggested they could even take place as early as next spring; all options he said were currently on the table.

Not only will they have to consider Tokyo’s flexibility in rescheduling, but they’ll also have to take into account the 2021 global sporting calendar which currently includes the Athletics World Championships in Oregon and the Women’s European Championships in England.

Officials light a lantern from the Olympic Flame at the end of a flame display ceremony in Iwaki, northern Japan. Credit: PA

All in all, it is a mammoth undertaking and will add an estimated £2 billion to an Olympics bill that already stands way north of £10 billion.

There is a long list of logistical, legal and commercial hurdles to overcome.

The most problematical include the athlete's village, a centre piece of the Games project, which was due to be turned into 4,000 housing units, starting later this year.

Is that reversible?

If not, where will the athletes stay.

Two women take a selfie with a Tokyo 2020 countdown clock displaying the date and time outside Tokyo Station. Credit: AP

What of the support staff from more than 200 countries, can their accommodation be assured?

Each Olympic Committee will have negotiated facilities for pre-Games training camps and other locations within Tokyo for athletes, for families and friends and for commercial opportunities.

Will they still be available and on the same deal? Then what of the Olympic venues themselves?

There are more than 40 of them across the country and many have already got contracts for use all signed and sealed for next year.

Can those agreements be parked and the new users compensated?

Just when Japan thought it was on the verge of being rewarded for seven years of hard work getting Tokyo ready, the city has been handed another challenge which, given the timescale it’s working to, is almost as difficult.