In a big update, it is being learned that the Tokyo Olympics will be held without the presence of any spectator. The organisers of the Tokyo 2020 announced on Thursday that the event will be staged behind closed doors because of the resurgent pandemic that has forced Japan to declare a coronavirus state of emergency in Tokyo.
The development comes in contrast to the earlier decision which stated the Games would be conducted with a limited domestic audience.
Regrettable that we are delivering the Games in a very limited format: Seiko Hashimoto
"It is regrettable that we are delivering the Games in a very limited format, facing the spread of coronavirus infection," Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto said after negotiations between government officials, Tokyo organisers and Olympic as well as paralympic representatives.
"I am sorry to those who purchased tickets and everyone in local areas," he added.
Earlier, Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga stated that it was essential to contain the spread of the infection in Tokyo, where the extremely infectious Delta COVID-19 variant has been found. With a ban on any spectator whatsoever, the marquee event is said to miss out on the festivity that comes along with sports. Renowned local health experts had already warned against hosting the games suggesting that immigration of thousands of athletes and officials could start a fresh wave of infection. Although the show is still on, they have abided by the least risky option of banning all spectators.