Tokyo Olympics to be played without overseas spectators

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TOKYO, MAR 20 – Organizers of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics said on Saturday that the world’s biggest games would be held without overseas spectators, given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have to take decisions which may need sacrifice from everybody and we have to ask for understanding,” said Thomas Bach, International Olympic Committee (IOC) chief.

The decision was taken in a virtual meeting today, Kyodo News reported.

Raging COVID-19 delayed Tokyo Olympics 2020 until summer this year.

At a virtual meeting on Saturday, heads of five organizing bodies, including IOC, International Paralympic Committee, met Saturday to decide not to allow spectators to come into Japan for the games.

Bach added the organizers’ top priority is to “ensure the safety of all participants of the games and people in Japan.”

The pandemic has hit major events worldwide as respective governments tightened borders to stem the infection’s spread, which has affected over 122 million people, including over 2.7 million deaths since first reported in December 2019.