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Cartan Global | Tokyo 2020

An immediate review into possible changes for Pyeongchang 2018 and Tokyo 2020 will be taken if proposed Agenda 2020 recommendations are approved here next week, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has promised.

He also revealed that postponement of last month's Pyeongchang 2018 Coordination Commission inspection until March occurred in order to allow the Organising Committee "more time" following the appointment of Yang Ho-cho as its new President in July.

Since then, news of a dispute between the Central and Provincial Governments in South Korea has emerged, with Gangwon Province officials warning they will be crippled financially unless the Government in Seoul adopts a greater share of the costs, particularly for the new Stadium in which the Opening and Closing Ceremonies are expected to be held.

If a solution is not found, it has been reported in South Korea that Pyeongchang could even consider withdrawing from hosting the Games, something which has not happened since Denver pulled out of staging the 1976 Olympics after they were awarded them and they were instead given to Innsbruck.

Pyeongchang 2018 has downplayed these fears, with spokesperson Lee Jihye claiming how "negotiations about funding for the Olympic Stadium are ongoing between the National Government, the Provincial Government and the Organising Committee, and we expect them to be completed soon".

Bach also claimed he was not concerned by the reports following a presentation from Pyeongchang 2018 today to the IOC Executive Board.

"We had the report from Pyeongchang Organising Committee today, and they told us they will deliver on time and on budget," he said.

"We have been discussing the budget, of course.

"We have a new President of the Organising Committee and he has the full confidence of the IOC Executive Board.

"He has asked for more time after he took over to address the different issues, including the budget, he has to have discussion with the different levels of the Government in [South] Korea.

"We will see some progress on this by the Project Meeting in January and this is why we postponed the Coordination Commission from November until March next year."

The Coordination Commission visit will now take place from March 17 until 19, the IOC has confirmed to insidethegames.

When asked about the impact of Agenda 2020, which could lead to a more "flexible" Games in order to reduce costs, with one recommendation permitting "the organisation of entire sports and disciplines outside the host city or, in exceptional cases, outside the host country notably for reasons of geography and sustainability", Bach claimed changes could be made quickly.

"Immediately after this Session, if Olympic Agenda 2020 is approved and more flexibility is possible, we will enter into discussions [with Pyeongchang and Tokyo] regarding the implementation," Bach said.

"This could lead to changes with regard to different venues and to other decisions."

Speaking today,President Cho also reflected on these possibilities, describing how "Agenda2020 is now shaping-up and a lot of opportunities will emerge that will benefit current and future Olympic and Paralympic Games Organisers".

"At this stage various ideas are pondered," he added.

"After this session we will have a clear understanding about the new flexibility that Agenda 2020 provides all Games organisers and we will consult with the IOC."

The proposed changes could also be particularly significant for Tokyo, with proposals underway there to move several events to pre-existing venues outside the capital, rather than construct new ones within the city.

This move would sacrifice planned legacy benefits but significantly reduce costs, now seen as more important.

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