No briefcase, no autographs as Tokyo reveals tough rules for fans ahead of Olympics – The New Indian Express


Through AFP

TOKYO: No alcohol, no hugs, no cheers and no autographs: Tokyo Olympics organizers unveiled tough new rules for spectators at the Pandemic Games on Wednesday, as they scored a month before the opening ceremony.

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto warned the festivities “should be cut” to ensure the security of the Games, and acknowledged that organizers will need to be “creative” to fuel a festive atmosphere.

Games chiefs on Monday decided to allow up to 10,000 spectators at competition venues, but Hashimoto warned them not to expect the kind of festival atmosphere currently enjoyed by football fans at the Euro 2020.

“In Europe, the places are filled with celebrations,” she said.

“Unfortunately, we may not be able to do the same.”

Spectators will have to clear several antivirus requirements, including temperature checks and wearing masks, just to enter the premises – with no refunds available for those who cannot.

Once inside, they are prohibited from cheering or “coming into direct contact with other spectators” and will be asked to go straight home after the events are over.

Asking athletes for autographs or “expressing verbal support” is also a no-no, as is waving a napkin or “any form of cheer that might create a crowd.”

“The festive mood will have to be removed – it has become a major challenge,” Hashimoto told reporters.

“People can feel joy in their hearts, but they can’t be loud and they have to avoid crowds,” she added.

“These are the areas where we need to be creative, and we are putting a lot of effort into finding a new way to celebrate.”

Spectators will also be required to dispense with alcohol, although this is permitted at other sporting events currently being held in Japan.

Hashimoto said the ban was decided “to alleviate public concerns as much as possible.”

“True values”

As the opening ceremony on July 23 approaches, organizers are scrambling to finalize preparations and convince a skeptical audience, promising that the Games will be safe for residents and participants.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, former athlete Hashimoto said the bare-bones Games were an opportunity to refocus attention on the “real values” of the Olympics.

“In recent years, when I was competing as an athlete, there were concerns that this (event) would become so huge,” she said.

“This time, I feel that the true values ​​of the Olympic and Paralympic Games are finally being discussed.”

Hashimoto dismissed the suggestion that the complications of Tokyo 2020 could deter future hosts, as Olympic officials face a dwindling number of cities eager for the expensive endeavor.

“I see this as an opportunity to present the essence of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and to change the format of the Games, so that other cities are willing to host the Games in the future,” she said.

It might not be a line that convinces everyone, with athletes facing strict restrictions including daily testing and a travel ban except between venues and the Olympic Village.

National opposition to the Games has eased in recent weeks, but around half of the Japanese public still do not want the event to open in four weeks, polls show.

A Ugandan Olympic coach tested positive on arrival in Japan on Saturday, despite the team reportedly being vaccinated and testing negative before the trip.

The rest of the delegation is now quarantined until July 3.

The hectic pace of preparations may have taken its toll on Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, who was hospitalized for exhaustion.

Responding to fears of the Games without entertainment, Hashimoto said he hoped the Olympics would showcase “Japan’s culture of hospitality and mutual concern.”

“I hope that such a spirit of mutual concern will become the legacy of the Games.”

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