Tokyo Olympics 2020: Foreign fans unlikely to be allowed over COVID-19 fears, says report

In a public poll, 91 percent of the respondents said they wanted spectators to be kept at a minimum or not allowed at all.

FP Sports March 03, 2021 17:08:14 IST
Tokyo Olympics 2020: Foreign fans unlikely to be allowed over COVID-19 fears, says report

People walk by posters to promote the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo. AP

Japan is planning on stopping overseas spectators from attending the Tokyo Olympics over fears that the COVID-19 virus will spread. The report comes at a time when Japanese population continues to oppose holding the Games during the pandemic.

The Mainichi Shimbun newspaper said a final decision will be made this month following talks between the International Olympic Committee, Tokyo 2020 organisers and the Japanese government.

The government will assess the possibility of allowing domestic audience into stadiums and to what degree, the report added.

The local organising committee was slated to host a meeting with the IOC, International Paralympic Committee, Tokyo city government and national government on Wednesday. The viability of letting fans into the stadiums was top of the agenda.

IOC president Thomas Bach had said in late February that a decision on whether to allow overseas spectators for the Games could be made in April or early May.

A Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper poll on Wednesday showed that if the Games do go ahead, 91 percent of the public want the spectators to be kept at a minimum or not allowed at all. This poll found 70 percent of the respondents were "interested in the Olympics" and 58 percent were against the Games being held this year. Earlier, a poll by Kyodo had found 80.1 percent of the residents opposing the Games being held in Japan.

Tokyo Olympics were scheduled to be held in 2020 but were postponed by a year, for the first time in history, and are slated to take place from 23 July. The torch relay is set to begin in Fukushima Prefecture from 25 March.

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