The International Olympic Committee has decided that the fate of athletes who qualified for the now postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics is left to the National Olympic Committee of their respective countries.

According to a Reuters report the IOC said some 57 percent of the 11,000 athletes would keep their qualification provided they are “re-selected” for next year by their National Olympic Committee as they “represented a nation” and not themselves.

“All of the qualifications have been achieved by National Olympic Committee and individual athletes remain in place,” IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell was quoted in the report.

“Any athlete needs to be individually selected because they represent their NOC. In all sports the NOC retains the right to select them.”

In another development McConnell said IOC is in discussions with FIFA (world football governing body) to decide on the Olympic football tournament next year as only players aged Under-23 are allowed to compete apart from a limited overage players in a team.

This will be finalised in the coming weeks.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics have been postponed to July 23 to August 8, 2021. This year’s dates were July 24-Aug 9. RIZAL ABDULLAH

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