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Should Tokyo Olympics include spectators?

July 22, 2020 09:37 IST
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Tokyo Olympics

IMAGE: IOC president Thomas Bach said last week that spectator reductions might be an option. Photograph: Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters

Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori told Kyodo News in an interview that he disliked the idea of holding the Games in empty venues without fans.

The Tokyo Olympics were due to start this Friday but because of the COVID-19 pandemic the International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government took the unprecedented decision to postpone the Games until 2021.


Since then, organisers have been looking at various options that would allow the Games to go ahead next summer.

IOC president Thomas Bach said last week that spectator reductions might be an option.

Mori, a former Japanese prime minister, said he was eager to avoid this scenario.

Tokyo Olympics

IMAGE: (Picture for representational purpose only) A fan in the stands wear a mask in light of coronavirus. Photograph:  Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

“We shouldn’t make spectators go through hard times. Sporting events are all about the whole country empathising,” Mori said in an interview with Kyodo News on Tuesday.

Mori added that he thought Bach’s comments were 'assuming the worst-case scenario'.

Tokyo 2020 organisers will hold meetings with the Japanese government and local Tokyo Metropolitan Government in September to work through various scenarios.

New Tokyo 2020 sponsors coming onboard: CEO Muto

Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto has told Reuters the organising committee expects to take on several new sponsors in the coming months despite businesses being hit hard by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The Tokyo Olympics were due to start on Friday but were put back to 2021 due to the pandemic.

The delay will incur additional costs for organisers but Muto, who said the final figure would not be known until December, is hopeful new sponsors will help bridge the gap.

“I know that businesses are in dire circumstances because of coronavirus but still there are companies who are coming forward to say they want to sponsor the Games, which we appreciate very much,” Muto told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday.

“It is a bright piece of news.”

Muto said he hoped all of Tokyo 2020’s current sponsors would extend their contracts until the start of the Games next year.

A poll conducted by Japanese public broadcaster NHK last month found two-thirds of Tokyo 2020’s corporate sponsors were undecided on whether to continue their support.

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