Inside news
No foreign judo fans at Tokyo Olympics
No foreign judo fans at Tokyo Olympics
9 Mar 2021 13:45
IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation

There is no doubt if the Olympics in Tokyo will continue, but it is clear that these Olympics won’t allow foreign sports fans in Japan. If Japanese fans are allows this will be certainly a benefit for the strong judo team of the host country. The zero-fans option from abroad is a painful decision for the organisation.

The new president Seiko Hashimoto of the Tokyo Olympic organising committee said that foreign fans will not be allowed at this summer’s Games. “If the situation is tough and it would make the Japanese consumers concerned, that is a situation we need to avoid from happening,” the committee president, Seiko Hashimoto, told reporters after online talks with the International Olympic Committee president, Thomas Bach.

Hashimoto was questioned after the meeting as to how Japan could even consider letting in thousands of overseas fans, given how unpopular the idea is at home, where up to 80% want the Olympics cancelled or postponed again. She confirmed the subject of fans was a key part of the talks with Bach, the International Paralympic committee president, Andrew Parsons, the Tokyo governor, Yuriko Koike, and the Olympic minister, Tamayo Marukawa.

Bach hinted at hard choices to be made in comments before the meeting was closed to reporters. “We will focus on the essentials,” he said. “That means mainly the competitions. This has to be the clear focus. In this respect we may have to set one or another priority.”

The games will involve 11,000 Olympic athletes and later 4,400 Paralympians, and tens of thousands of coaches, judges, sponsors, media and VIPs. Bach said he was encouraged at the number of national Olympic committees that were getting athletes vaccinated. The IOC said it encourages vaccinations but will not require them.

Bach said his hope was “to have as many participants as possible arriving vaccinated to Tokyo”, adding: “I can inform you that a considerable number of national Olympic committees has already secured this pre-Tokyo vaccination.”

The plan is to isolate athletes in the Olympic Village alongside Tokyo Bay, putting them in a bubble when they arrive and until they leave Japan.