Tokyo Olympics: Uncertainty Cloud looms over biggest sporting event amid Covid-19 scare?
The Japanese Social media is throbbing with a speculation of yet another shift or even a cancellation of Tokyo Olympics that starts in a little over 3-months’ time from 23rd July – 8th August. The games were originally slated in 2020 but rescheduled due to Covid-19.
The assumptions became widespread as a senior lawmaker from the ruling party, Toshihiro Nikai, acknowledged the possibility of the cancellation of the quadrennial event in case the rising Covid-19 cases aren’t controlled significantly & makes it impossible to organize the games. (Also Read: IPL 2021 Biggest Cricketing Carnival )
Notably Japan is battling the 4th wave of Covid-19 with cases swelling across major cities such as Tokyo & Osaka which hosts most of the category event. While the Japanese government has already banned travel of international fans for the Olympics, a recent survey done in Japan reveals nearly 80% of local fans oppose holding the event during the pandemic.
Toshihiro Nikai, Secretary – General of the Liberal Democratic Party, said in a conversation with broadcaster TBS, “If it seems impossible (to host the Olympics) any more, then we have to stop it, decisively,” and added, “Cancelling is of course an option. If the Olympics were to spread infection, then what are the Olympics for?” further. (Also Read: The Ostrich Syndrome Why is it Dangerous?)
However, the Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga reiterated the government’s commitment and focus to control the spread of Covid-19. He, without directly responding to the senior official’s comment, upheld that the government of Japan hasn’t changed its position as far as preparation of Olympic games are concerned and it is extensively working to ensure smooth execution.
The head of Tokyo Olympics, Seiko Hashimoto, too gave a statement post the speculation gained momentum, “There are a variety of concerns but as the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee we are not thinking about cancelling the games.” She acknowledged the concern as per Nikai’s statement and added, “The fact that he (Nikai) is concerned is a point that we need to take seriously as Tokyo 2020. His comment has reminded us of how tedious it was for us to feel confident or be fully prepared for delivering the games.” (Also Read: Is Chaiyya Chaiyya girl Malaika Engaged?)
Another government minister who is in charge of Japan’s vaccine rollout, Taro Kono, suggested possibility of games to be held in closed doors implying possibility of no fans of any kind present at any of the venues for the games particularly if the Covid-19 cases keep surging across the country.
The International Olympics Committee along with Tokyo Olympics Committee and Japanese government are keenly focused on holding the games as per the scheduled date keeping the commercial & financial aspect of it. But with fans already favoring cancellation amid alarming pandemic situation and chances of a spectator-less event, it will really be a difficult decision to make in the time to come. Hopefully Japan resolves the growing concern around Tokyo Olympics by controlling the Covid-19 prevailing wave and gives the sports fraternity a reason to rejoice & cheer with a scaled-back torch relay already underway.
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