Bach Hints at Reducing Spectators in Tokyo Olympics as Option

Sports

London, July 17 (Jiji Press)--International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach on Friday hinted at the possibility of reducing the number of spectators at competition venues in the Tokyo Summer Olympics, postponed by one year to 2021 due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

"This is of course one of the scenarios we have to look into," he told a press conference held after an online IOC session on the day. But he also said whether competition venues will have less spectators should depend on the levels of travel restrictions related to the pandemic.

"It's too early to tell," Bach said, adding, "It's not what we want." He said: "We would like to see a stadium full of enthusiastic fans, and to give them all the opportunity to live for the Olympic experience and to support the athletes. And this is the first line what we are working for."

To prevent coronavirus infection and reduce costs, the IOC and the Tokyo organizing committee for the Olympics are considering scaling down the games on over 200 issues.

On the opening ceremony for the games, Bach said that it is the opportunity for Japan to present its "culture" and "hospitality." With more than one billion people around the world expected to watch the games, including through television, "I'm sure that the organizing committee will find the right balance," Bach said.

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Jiji Press