Just over six months before the postponed Games, doubts have grown over the event, with the pandemic still raging across much of the world.
The Tokyo Olympics will be held this year after being postponed from last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, said International Olympic Committee (IOC) chief Thomas Bach, adding that there was ” no plan B ”.
Just over six months before the postponed Games, doubts have arisen over the viability of the international event, with the pandemic still raging across much of the world.
Organizers have produced a number of security measures that they believe will allow the Games to continue, even if the pandemic is not under control, and without requiring vaccination.
But public support in Japan is low, with around 80% of those polled in a recent poll in favor of further delay or outright cancellation.
“We have, at the moment, no reason to believe that the Tokyo Olympics will not open on July 23,” Bach told Kyodo News.
“This is why there is no Plan B and this is why we are fully committed to making these Games safe and successful.”
Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto told AFP news agency this week that organizers were “steadfast” in their commitment to host the Games this year and that the cancellation had not been discussed.
But he admitted he couldn’t guarantee the stands would be full or rule out the possibility of hosting the Games without spectators.
A decision on whether overseas fans will be able to attend, and how many spectators will be possible, is expected later this year.
The Games are scheduled to open on July 23 and the nationwide torch relay is scheduled to start in late March.
Various events and tournaments around the world have been postponed or canceled due to the pandemic.
The 2021 Women’s Cricket World Cup has been postponed for a year and the 2020 Men’s World Twenty20 has also been postponed.
The Six Nations women’s rugby tournament suffered a similar fate, but authorities are confident the men’s event will go ahead as planned in February.
Earlier this month, the Asian Beach Games in the Chinese city of Sanya were also postponed for the second time.
“The Tokyo Olympics should be canceled. International and global events should be halted for now. Crowds of all sizes are just not wise for the rest of the year, ”David Goldblatt, sports writer, reporter and author, told Al Jazeera.
More than 96 million cases of coronavirus have been reported worldwide with more than two million deaths. The United States has been the hardest hit with nearly 25 million cases and over 406,000 deaths.