Japan’s Hokkaido Area Bans Followers From Olympic Soccer Video games – Information
The move reverses the Olympic organizers’ decision to allow some fans to compete outside of the Tokyo area.
Japan’s northern Hokkaido region has decided to ban spectators from the Olympic soccer games being held in the region and is expanding unprecedented steps to hold the games largely behind closed doors due to the pandemic.
Local Governor Naomichi Suzuki announced the move late Friday evening, overturning a decision by Olympic organizers the day before to ban spectators from events in the Tokyo area, but allow some fans to participate in competitions elsewhere.
“All events that are to take place in Sapporo will take place without spectators,” said Suzuki in a written statement, referring to the five games that will be played in the capital of the region.
The announcement came just a day after Tokyo 2020, and government officials said they would ban fans of events in the capital and surrounding areas that will be under a virus emergency during the Games.
The games postponed by the pandemic will be the first to take place largely behind closed doors.
A handful of competitions will be held outside of the capital, including Sapporo, which also hosts marathon and running competitions. Olympic and local officials have already asked the public not to watch the races live.
Suzuki said he made the most recent call about the football games after discovering that the anti-pandemic measures proposed by organizers were inadequate and would not curb the flow of people from Tokyo, which is experiencing a rapidly growing wave of infections.
The organizers had urged to allow up to 50 percent audience capacity or less than 10,000 people in the Sapporo Dome.
Hokkaido itself has long struggled to control coronavirus infections. But she plans to end her three-week quasi-emergency state after this weekend.
“The decision was made to allay concerns and keep local residents safe as our primary concern. I ask for your understanding,” said Suzuki.