Tokyo 2020 chiefs ban overseas fans from Olympics this year

By Sports Desk March 20, 2021

Tokyo 2020 organisers have announced spectators will not be allowed to travel from overseas to watch the Olympic Games this year.

The measure has been taken as part of an effort to reduce the risks of COVID-19 spreading at the delayed Games.

The Games will run from July 23 to August 8, having been set back by a year due to the global health crisis.

Also affected will be the Paralympics, which runs from August 24 to September 5, with travelling spectators also barred from attending.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) have been advised of Tokyo's decision and are said by Games chiefs to "respect and accept this conclusion".

In a statement issued on Twitter, Tokyo 2020 said: "Today, on March 20, we reported to the IOC and IPC that we would not accept overseas spectators to Japan in order to realise a safe and secure event.

"We will continue to do our utmost to make this summer's event a safe and secure event so that it will be a light of hope for people all over the world."

In a further statement, Tokyo 2020 organisers said tickets purchased by those planning to travel from abroad would be refunded.

They said the coronavirus situation within and beyond Japan "remains very challenging" and pointed to travel across borders being "severely restricted", meaning entry to Japan could not be guaranteed.

"In order to give clarity to ticket holders living overseas and to enable them to adjust their travel plans at this stage, the parties on the Japanese side have come to the conclusion that they will not be able to enter into Japan at the time of the Olympic and Paralympic Games," said the Tokyo 2020 statement.

"This conclusion will further contribute to ensure safe and secure Games for all participants and the Japanese public."

Related items

  • Neymar absent, Dani Alves to lead Brazil's Tokyo Olympics squad Neymar absent, Dani Alves to lead Brazil's Tokyo Olympics squad

    Dani Alves has been included with Neymar absent as Brazil named an 18-player squad to defend their gold medal at the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

    Brazil's Olympics head coach Andre Jardine confirmed the squad on Thursday, with 38-year-old Sao Paulo full-back Alves one of three over-age players, along with Sevilla's Diego Carlos and Athletico PR goalkeeper Santos.

    Former Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain star Alves, who has 118 international caps, was set to be part of Brazil's Copa America campaign but missed the showpiece CONMEBOL tournament due to a knee injury and will instead captain the Olympic side.

    PSG star Neymar's absence is notable given he previously indicated he had wanted to be part of the Tokyo Games.

    Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz, Lyon's Bruno Guimaraes and Flamengo's Pedro have also been selected to represent Brazil.

    Brazil won Olympic gold on home turf at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, with Neymar scoring the decisive penalty in a 5-4 shoot-out victory over Germany.

    Jardine's side are grouped alongside Germany, Ivory Coast and Saudi Arabia in Group D for the Tokyo Olympics.

    Brazil will face Germany in their opening game in Yokohama scheduled for July 22.

     

    Brazil squad for Tokyo Olympics:

    Santos (Athletico PR), Brenno (Gremio); Dani Alves (Sao Paulo), Gabriel Menino (Palmeiras), Guilherme Arana (Atletico Mineiro), Gabriel Magalhaes (Arsenal), Nino (Fluminense), Diego Carlos (Sevilla); Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa), Bruno Guimaraes (Lyon), Gerson (Flamengo), Claudinho (Red Bull Bragantino), Matheus Henrique (Gremio); Matheus Cunha (Hertha Berlin), Malcom (Zenit), Antony (Ajax), Paulinho (Bayer Leverkusen), Pedro (Flamengo).

  • U.S. Open: Henley leads, Koepka starts well but no such luck for Mickelson U.S. Open: Henley leads, Koepka starts well but no such luck for Mickelson

    Russell Henley took the early lead at the U.S. Open, with former world number one Brooks Koepka not far behind, though Phil Mickelson struggled.

    Henley shot an impressive four-under-par 67 at Torrey Pines on Thursday to head back in the clubhouse with a one-shot lead over Francesco Molinari and Rafa Cabrera Bello.

    Heading in at fourth was four-time major winner Koepka, the 2017 and 2018 U.S. Open champion going round in 69 on the opening day.

    Koepka has been involved in one of the big stories in the build-up to the major amid his feud with defending champion Bryson DeChambeau making headlines, albeit the latter dismissed it as "banter back and forth in good fun."

    With DeChambeau teeing off later in the day, Koepka set the standard with four birdies in his first 11 holes taking him into a solo lead.

    However, two bogeys meant he had to recover with two pars to finish on two under, giving Henley the early advantage.

    Ahead of Koepka, Molinari – who has fallen outside the top 150 in the world rankings – was back to his best, with his brother Edoardo just two shots behind on one under.

    There was no such luck for six-time major champion and American star Mickelson, whose chances of claiming this elusive tournament look slim.

    Mickelson became the oldest major winner when he clinched the US PGA Championship last month, but shot a four-over 75, which included successive bogeys.

    Another former US PGA Championship winner to struggle was Collin Morikawa, who also finished on four over.

    "It's not the start I wanted, bogeying every par-three, and I think I had like three three-putts today. It's not acceptable," he said.

    "It's not how you keep yourself in a tournament on a Thursday. You know what, this course is going to play tough, and still got at least tomorrow to just grind it out and see how it goes. I had some stretches of decent golf, I've just got to keep doing that and really not compound the errors."

  • Euro 2020 data dive: De Ligt's passing masterclass, Belgium keep winning run going Euro 2020 data dive: De Ligt's passing masterclass, Belgium keep winning run going

    Belgium and the Netherlands joined Italy in booking their place in the knockout stages of Euro 2020 with victories over Denmark and Austria respectively.

    The world's top-ranked side Belgium had to bounce back from a goal down to beat an inspired Denmark, with both teams paying tribute to Christian Eriksen after 10 minutes as the midfielder continues his recovery from a cardiac arrest.

    Roberto Martinez's side need a point in their final Group B match to make certain of top spot, but the Netherlands are already through as Group C winners after seeing off Austria.

    Ukraine also picked up all three points against North Macedonia in Thursday's action – just their second-ever victory at the European Championships.

    Using Opta data, we take a look at some of the best facts from across the day's action.

    Ukraine 2-1 North Macedonia: Shevchenko's men end losing Euros streak

    Andriy Yarmolenko and Roman Yaremchuk were on target for the second match running to end Ukraine's six-game losing streak at the European Championships.

    With Yarmolenko and Yaremchuk's first-half goals, Ukraine became the first nation to have the same two players score in their first two games at a single Euros.

    Ezgjan Alioski pulled one back at the second attempt after his penalty was saved, making it two goals in three games – as many as in his previous 17 for North Macedonia.

    His penalty was given after a foul on Goran Pandev, who – at at 37 years and 325 days – is the oldest player to win a spot-kick in the Euros since data was first recorded in 1980.

    Ruslan Malinovskyi failed to convert from 12 yards late on in a game which saw both sides win a penalty in the competition for the first time since England v France in 2004.

    It means four of the six penalties taken at Euro 2020 have not been converted. The last tournament with more was Euro 2000 (five).

    Denmark 1-2 Belgium: Red Devils bounce back from early setback

    Belgium showed why they are ranked number one in the world as they recovered from an early setback to make it 11 wins from their last 12 group games at major competitions.

    However, they had to do things the hard way after Yussuf Poulsen struck early on in Copenhagen.

    Poulsen opened the scoring after 99 seconds – the second-earliest goal ever in the tournament, behind only Dmitry Kirichenko for Russia against Greece in 2004 (65 seconds).

    The one shot on target Belgium managed in the first half came via Dries Mertens, who was earning his 100th cap for his country – the fifth Belgian to reach that landmark.

    But the half-time introduction of Kevin De Bruyne for Mertens transformed the Red Devils, the playmaker setting up Thorgan Hazard's leveller and then drilling in the winner.

    De Bruyne's fantastic strike was teed up by Eden Hazard, who joins the Manchester City star as the two European players to assist a goal at each of the last four major tournaments.

    Belgium survived a nervy finish as they won their first two European Championship matches for the first time, while Denmark have lost their first two for the first time since 2000.

    Netherlands 2-0 Austria: Faultless Oranje ease through

    The Netherlands followed up their opening-game win against Ukraine with a routine victory against Austria in Amsterdam.

    It is the third time the Oranje have won their opening two Euros matches, having previously done so in 2000 and 2008, when they exited the competition at the semi-final and quarter-final stage respectively.

    Frank de Boer's men are now unbeaten in their last nine matches at major tournaments, which is the longest run by a European nation since Portugal went 12 without defeat between 2014 and 2018.

    Memphis Depay opened the scoring for the Netherlands from the penalty spot, the Lyon forward's eighth goal for his country since De Boer took charge last September, with only Belgium's Romelu Lukaku scoring more (10) across all competitions for a European side over that period.

    Denzel Dumfries added the second goal and is just the second Netherlands player to net in his first two appearances at the Euros after Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2004, this after the right-back failed to score in his first 19 senior caps.

    One of the unsung stars for the hosts was Dumfries' fellow defender Matthijs de Ligt, who completed 100 per cent of his 40 passes – a record for a Netherlands player in a European Championship match since records began in 1980.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.