No foreign spectators at Tokyo Olympics

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No foreign fans will be allowed into Japan for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo (July 23-Aug. 8) because of the Corona pandemic. The Japanese organizers shared this decision with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Paralympics organizers in a video conference on Saturday. The reason for the decision is the fear of further spread of the coronavirus.

The IOC and the International Paralympic Committee “fully respected and accepted” the decision, it said. Ticket buyers from abroad are to be reimbursed. So far, about one million tickets had been sold to fans from abroad. For the planned budget of the organizers, the loss of ticket revenue is a hard blow. In addition, there are considerable consequences for the tourism industry, which had hoped for a lot of money from Olympic guests and the advertising effect.

4.5 million tickets have gone to Japanese buyers so far. Whether locals will be allowed into the arenas for the Olympics and Paralympics is to be decided by the end of April. In recent polls, a clear majority of Japanese had spoken out in favor of a renewed postponement of the Summer Games, which had already been postponed for a year, or even a complete cancellation. The Olympic organizers are trying to win trust for the Games with strict measures in the fight against the Corona pandemic.

The new head of the organization, Seiko Hashimoto, had pushed for a decision on foreign Olympic fans before the start of the Olympic torch relay on March 25. IOC chief Thomas Bach had already signaled support before the deliberations in the event of a spectator exclusion. “We have to put the safety of all the participants in the Games and the Japanese people first, to whom we already owe a great deal of respect,” Bach said. Sacrifices must be demanded of everyone and we must ask for understanding, the German said.

  • source: kurier.at/picture: pixabay.com
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