This was confirmed by the organising body of the most important sporting event on the planet. The local committee was supported by the Olympic and Paralympic International Committee to take the action.
“To give clarity to ticket holders living abroad and allow them to adjust their travel plans at this stage, parts of the Japanese side have concluded that they will not be able to enter Japan at the time of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
With these words, the organising agency of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, an event that was postponed one year due to the coronavirus pandemic, announced on Saturday the decision to ban the entry of foreign fans to live the most important sporting event on the planet.
Through a statement, the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee reported that they “fully respect and accept this conclusion”. This measure is an attempt to reduce the risks of viruses and to try to convince a skeptical Japanese public that the Games will be safe.
This unprecedented decision will make the Tokyo Games the first in history to be held without foreign spectators.
It is worth remembering that this decision began to be shuffled on March 3, after a meeting of the five: Japanese government, Tokyo municipality, Game organizers, ICO and International Paralympic Committee.
Another point that has not yet been decided is how many national spectators will be allowed in each venue. While the organizers originally suggested that they would rule on this issue in April, Thomas Bach, the main representative of the International Olympic Committee, said the decision could approach the opening ceremony on 23 July.
One of the first to provide public statements on this was Andrew Parsons, chairman of the Paralympic Committee. “Needless to say, in an ideal world we would prefer to have international viewers at the Games, allowing families, friends and fans to encourage their loved ones and all athletes. But at the moment we must recognize that because of the global pandemic we do not live in an ideal world. As a result, some difficult decisions need to be made, which we fully appreciate will leave many disappointed, to further contribute to ensuring the safety of the Games,” the leader said.
“The safety of all stakeholders, particularly the Japanese public and athletes, is our top priority for the 2020 Tokyo Games and that is why the CPI fully respects and accepts this decision from the Japanese parties. Without international viewers, we will work even harder to ensure more global broadcasts and digital coverage of the Paralympic Games than ever before, so that anyone who wants to watch the Games can do so,” Parsons added.
Even with the deployment of vaccines in much of the world, the virus continues to wreak havoc and the narrative of Olympic officials appears to be changing, as at first they had stated that this event would be like a light at the end of the tunnel and as a victory to the coronavirus pandemic.
“In many ways, the 2020 Tokyo Games will be completely different from the previous Games. However, the essentials of the Games will remain unchanged, as athletes do their best and inspire the world with transcendent performances. We are currently working on specific plans to share support remotely from around the world and help bring people together in ways that fit our current times. Even if she can no longer come to Japan this summer, we hope she will continue to support the 2020 Tokyo Games,” said Seiko Hashimoto, president of Tokyo 2020.
The one-year delay and security countermeasures against the virus have helped raise Tokyo’s 2020 budget to 1.64 trillion yen ($15 billion), making the Games the most expensive summer Olympics in history, AFP reported.
It is worth noting that the IAO is also encouraging athletes to get vaccinated, even ensuring a dose supply from China.
Next week will be the torch relay, but with spectators excluded from the launch ceremony and those who line the route they are asked to avoid cheers.
Delfina Pignatiello, 125 days after the Olympics: how did she get over her idea of retiring from swimming and can she fight for a medal in Tokyo 2020?
Argentine sport achieved a new place for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics: a female duo won the pre-Olympic rowing in Rio.
Usain Bolt’s unusual “thousand chicken nuggets” bet after the Olympics.