— Published 25 January 2021

The option of ‘behind closed doors’ is under consideration

The Tokyo Games will take place this summer, the Japanese authorities and the IOC have been saying with one voice since the end of last week, in response to The Times report announcing their cancellation. Let’s admit. But according to several sources in the Japanese government, cited by Kyodo News, the option of behind closed doors is now being seriously considered. It would prevent an outright cancellation of the event. The Japanese government was currently working on three scenarios: not imposing a limit on the number of spectators, capping the capacity of venues at 50%, and organising the events behind closed doors. “It is unlikely that the pandemic will be contained by this summer“, a senior government official said, adding that it has become difficult to organise events without limiting the number of spectators. Japanese Medical Association president Toshio Nakagawa said it will “not be possible” to welcome visitors from overseas if hospitals continue to struggle to contain the surge in COVID-19 patients. “The number of delegations is very large”, he explains. It is not possible for our medical system to accept visitors from overseas when it is under constant strain”. It is estimated that organising the Tokyo Games without spectators would represent a considerable shortfall for organisers, with ticket sales expected to reach $867 million.