BERLIN (Reuters) – The International Olympic Committee expects to bear costs of up to $800 million (656.87 million pounds) for its part in the organisation of the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics, now due to be staged next year, IOC President Thomas Bach said on Thursday.

In March, the International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government decided to delay the Games, due to start this July, for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We anticipate we will have to bear costs of up to $800 million for our part and responsibilities in the organisation of the postponed Games Tokyo 2020,” Bach told a conference call at the end of the IOC’s executive board meeting.

He said of that amount $650 million would go towards the organisation of the Games next year and $150 million to support international federations and National Olympic Committees.

The figure announced by Bach does not include any costs Tokyo Games organisers and the Japanese government have to incur by the 12-month delay of the world’s biggest multi-sports event.

Bach declined to speculate on a possible new delay if the virus is still a major concern next year.

“We are now working with full engagement for the success of Tokyo 2020 in 2021 and to have these Games in a safe environment for all participants,” he said.

“We are one year and two months away from the opening of these postponed Olympic games. We should not fuel any speculation on any future development.”

Some four million people have been infected and close to 300,000 have died from the disease globally.

More than 90 vaccines are currently being developed globally, with eight in the clinical trial phase. But experts say the process could take years and may not happen at all.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Ken Ferris)

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