Following a 6 hour long meeting where the IOC leaders discussed and later approved of the 2020+5 Olympic Agenda, IOC President Thomas Bach answered multiple questions regarding the topic of spectators at the upcoming Olympics amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“[T]his will be the decision of our Japanese partners and friends and we will respect and accept this decision,” Bach said, “and this also concerns the timing of the decision because only they can know what it means for the health regulations in their country, what it means for the organizing committee and what it means for the overall situation in Japan. So, this is why I said in my opening speech already, that we are standing at the side of Japan without any reservation.”
Bach’s comments follow recent reports indicating that Japan will not allow any foreign spectators at the 2021 Olympic Games. The reports stem from a comment made by Japanese Olympic Committee president Seiko Hashimoto last week, in which he said, “We would really like people from around the world to come to a full stadium, but unless we are prepared to accept them and the medical situation in Japan is perfect, it will cause a great deal of trouble also to visitors from overseas.”
Tokyo 2020 chief Seiko Hashimoto denied reports that a final decision has been made regarding spectators. According to multiple sources, the final is expected to be announced by March 25.
The Olympic Games traditionally attract millions of spectators from countries around the world. According to data published by the IOC, approximately 6.2 million tickets were purchased for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, with more than 4.5 million tickets already purchased for the 2021 Olympic Games prior to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
The 2021 Olympic Games will occur in Tokyo, Japan from July 23, 2021 until August 8, 2021.