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Foreign fans to be excluded from Tokyo Olympics: report

Foreign fans to be excluded from Tokyo Olympics: report
© Clive Rose/Getty Images

Japan and the International Olympic Committee are considering having no foreign fans at this year’s Olympics in Tokyo due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Anonymous sources told a Japanese newspaper about the discussion and said they would make an official decision in March, The Associated Press reported.

The Olympics have already been postponed and did not occur in 2020 because of the pandemic and the need for further discussions of how to keep everyone safe. 

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“In the current situation it is impossible to bring in foreign spectators,” a government official told the Japanese newspaper Mainichi.

There was speculation last month that Japan would choose to not host the games due to the pandemic and the unpopularity of the games in the country. Florida even made a bid to host the Olympics this summer when the rumors were circulating.

Even without foreign fans, there will still be thousands at the Olympics when you include players, coaches, judges, media, sponsors and VIPs. Many countries have been avoiding large crowds as they were known to be superspreader events for the virus.

The absence of fans could cost the games as much as $800 million more than the billions of dollars of revenue already lost. 

In an online discussion between the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the central government of Japan, IOC President Thomas Bach said that vaccines are an important precaution during the Olympics, according to The Associated Press.

“There I can inform you that a considerable number of national Olympic committees has already secured this pre-Tokyo vaccination,” Bach said.

Vaccinations have been an important part of most countries’ reopening plans as nations race to vaccinate as many people as possible against the deadly virus.

Japan has had over 400,000 reported coronavirus cases and almost 8,000 deaths.