Several members from the Organizing Committee seem to be optimistic to conduct the quadrennial event in 2021.
Chief executive of Tokyo Olympics, Toshiro Muto, has suggested that the games in 2021 might see “limited number of spectators” following the coronavirus scare in the country. The quadrennial event was postponed to 2021 due the COVID-19 pandemic, which have affected the entire world. Accordingly, apprehensions still exist on whether it is feasible to appropriately conduct an event of such a massive scale as several countries are still finding a way out this mess.
Speaking to BBC Sports, Muto clarified their stance on this issue. He stated, “Everyone should focus on holding the event next year — we’re on the same page.” It is necessary to note that numerous major football leagues in Europe devised a method to restart their operations amidst the COVID-19 crisis. However, almost all of the matches currently are being played behind closed doors and the pattern seems to continue at least for the near future.
On the other hand, Muto has asserted the International Olympic Committee (IOC) chief Thomas Bach is not looking for an Olympic Games without spectators in the gallery. Now, this arguably poses a major challenge in front of the organizing committee. As of now, Japan has barred individuals from 100 countries to visit the nation as an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The chief executive commented, “He (Bach) may be thinking about a limited number of spectators with full consideration of social distancing. We must build an environment where people feel safe. Athletes and the IOC family may require testing before/after entering Japan and (we need) strong medical systems around accommodation and transportation plans.”
Furthermore, one can sense that the Japanese citizens are not too confident about the Olympic Games being arranged in the country. That was demonstrated in two polls held in July, where the majority of the voters were in favor of further postponing or cancelling the upcoming edition of the Olympic Games altogether. On the issue of a proven vaccine easing the process of seamlessly hosting the tournament, Muto said that it could be a benefit but not a precondition.
Chairman of Tokyo Coordination Committee, John Coates, seems to support Toshiro Muto’s views. Speaking to an Australian newspaper, Coates had remarked that the organizers were going ahead on the basis that there won’t be a vaccine. He stressed that they were prepared “under whatever scenario we have to face, which will become clearer at the end of the year.”
Tokyo Governor and an influential personality in Japanese politics, Yuriko Koike, had expressed that she wanted to host the Olympic Games as a symbol of world unity. Recently, Koike cautioned that it is prerequisite to contain the spread of the new coronavirus inside the capital for the event to take place. According to World Health Organization (WHO), Japan has recorded 31,901 COVID-19 cases so far, with 940 of them emerging on July 29.