Tokyo Olympics chief Yoshiro Mori quits after the 83-year-old sparked a sexism row by declaring ‘annoying’ women ‘talk too much’ in another setback for organisers in a Games beset by Covid-19 problems
- Yoshiro Mori accepted his remarks had caused ‘chaos’ as he stepped down
- The IOC had said Mori’s remarks were ‘inappropriate’ but didn’t call for him to go
- It is another issue for organisers, with the Games already delayed by Covid-19
The head of Tokyo’s Olympic and Paralympic Games organising committee has quit over remarks he made about women.
Yoshiro Mori has stood down as the organisation’s president after suggesting meetings involving females tended to drag on.
The news was confirmed ahead of a Tokyo 2020 executive board meeting on Friday.
Mori acknowledged his remarks had caused ‘chaos’ as he announced his resgination
‘My inappropriate statement has caused a lot of chaos,’ Mori, whose words were translated into English, said. ‘I will be resigning from the president’s position.’
Mori said in a board meeting that ‘board of directors meetings with many women take a lot of time’.
‘When you increase the number of female executive members, if their speaking time isn’t restricted to a certain extent, they have difficulty finishing, which is annoying,’ he was quoted as saying.
He made the remarks to members of the Japan Olympic Committee (JOC), some of whom were reported to have laughed in response.
Saburo Kawabuchi, a former chair of the Japanese Football Association and one of the key figures in the foundation of its professional football competition the J.League, has been reported to have been lined up as Mori’s replacement according to the Kyodo news agency.
Earlier this week the International Olympic Committee released a statement saying Mori’s comments were ‘inappropriate’ but stopped short of calling for him to quit.
Earlier this week, the IOC acknowledged Mori’s apology and didn’t call for him to quit his role
The Games are unpopular with residents amid the Covid-19 outbreak, with people in Tokyo protesting against them being held later this year
His exit is the latest setback for the Games organisers, who have been beset by problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Games were due to take place last summer but were delayed by 12 months.
Covid-19 cases remain high in many areas of the world with the vaccine rollout only in its early stages, yet there is no suggestion of a second postponement or cancellation despite the staging of the Games remaining unpopular among Tokyo residents.
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