Sports

Tokyo Games: No cheering, autographs or alcohol for fans at Olympics

Alcohol, high-fives and talking loudly will be banned for the reduced numbers of Olympic ticket holders allowed into venues as organisers concede a “sense of celebration” will be limited at the Games already postponed by a year due to the coronavirus.

Organisers have pushed ahead with preparations for the Olympics, still called Tokyo 2020, despite strong concerns among the Japanese public that hosting competitors from around the world could result in further COVID-19 outbreaks.

Compounding those worries, a second member of Team Uganda, an athlete, has tested positive after being given a clean bill of health just days ago upon arrival in Japan.

Media reports that organisers were considering allowing alcohol consumption in Olympic venues when sales have been restricted in and around Toyko over concerns it would increase contact and mingling in bars provoked an outcry this week.

The hashtag “cancel the Olympic Games” garnered tens of thousands of tweets, adding to wave of protests online and on the streets over the past months.

A crowd of people gathered in front of the metropolitan government headquarters on Wednesday evening to protest against the Games, with participants chanting “cancel Olympics”, “stop the torch”, “save lives”, and “protect livelihoods”.

A month before the opening ceremony on July 23, Tokyo Olympics President Seiko Hashimoto reiterated that organisers wanted a safe and secure Games.

“If our citizens have concerns (over serving alcohol at the Olympics), I think we have to give up on that. That’s why we have decided to ban the sale of alcohol,” she told reporters.

Sponsor Asahi Breweries said it agreed with the decision, calling the move natural.

Ticket holders, to be selected in a new lottery after domestic spectators were capped at up to 10,000 per venue, will also be asked to go straight to venues and straight home, to refrain from talking en route and should not ask athletes for autographs.

“The major challenge at the Tokyo Games is to curb a flow of people and limit a sense of celebration,” Hashimoto said. “We are striving to make the Tokyo Games safe and secure, so it won’t be full of celebration.”

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India Today

India Today is a weekly Indian English-language news magazine published by Living Media India Limited. It is the most widely circulated magazine in India, with a readership of close to 8 million. In 2014, India Today launched a new online opinion-orientated site called the DailyO.

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