IJF President Marius Vizer says the new Olympic qualification system for judo will be a continuation of the current one ©IJF

International Judo Federation (IJF) President Marius Vizer says the world governing body is currently analysing the available solutions and possibilities for defining a new Olympic qualification system following the decision to postpone Tokyo 2020 to next year.

Writing in a letter addressed to the judo family, Vizer says the system will be a continuation of the current one that was suspended due to the global coronavirus health crisis.

He states the main principles being taken into account are "safe and healthy participation for all stakeholders", and "universal unrestricted participation of all countries".

Following receipt of the new International Olympic Committee (IOC) guidelines for the system, the maximum date to end the qualification period can be June 29, 2021.

"IJF will have at least the same number of events in the qualification process, including also all the events which were already scheduled on the IJF calendar in the period until the new end date of the qualification," Vizer writes.

"The final number of events included depends on a number of factors, but mainly on the health situation in the world and the possible travel restrictions, as well as the availability of venues and Local Organising Committees."

Vizer also revealed the 2021 World Championships in Uzbekistan’s capital Tashkent could be moved and included in the qualification process, although at the moment this was not taken into discussion due to the lack of certainty caused by the COVID-19 emergency situation.

The Doha Masters in Qatar will definitely remain part of the qualification, at a date yet to be defined.

All competitions until at least June 30, 2020 continue to be suspended.

This date is set to be revised according to the evolution of the situation.

Marius Vizer addressed his letter to the judo family ©IJF
Marius Vizer addressed his letter to the judo family ©IJF

"As soon as clear guidelines and an official timeline regarding the world health situation will be available, IJF will put together the calendar of the World Judo Tour and the Olympic qualification and will publish it," Vizer added.

"We will take into account all the member nations and the issues they are facing, and our main concern is to ensure a fair qualification process for all judoka around the world.

"IJF will also consider factors like extended lack of training opportunities and scarce preparation, leaving time to athletes to get back in shape and participate in competitions at their best level, in safe and healthy conditions.

"On behalf of the International Judo Federation, I would like to thank you for your patience and understanding of these unexpected circumstances.

"I wish you health and resilience and I urge you all to continue complying with the governmental advice and restrictions, in order to stop the spreading of the virus.

"Keep yourselves and your environment safe and healthy."

On Tuesday (March 31), Vizer lent his support behind the new dates announced for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

He said the IOC, Japanese Government and Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee had made a "wise decision" with their rescheduling.

It was announced on Monday (March 30) that the Opening Ceremony will take place on July 23 next year, with the Games drawing to a close on August 8.

Judo is one of many sports to have had Olympic qualification heavily disrupted by cancellations and postponements stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

The IJF had already cancelled all events until April 30, with the Rabat Grand Prix in Morocco, Ekaterinburg Grand Slam in Russia, Tbilisi Grand Prix in Georgia and the Antalya Grand Prix in Turkey all called off.

Vizer's full letter can be viewed by clicking here.