Report: IOC Staging 2020 Tokyo Olympics Behind Closed Doors Is 'Not an Option'

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIMarch 16, 2020

TOPSHOT - The logo for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is seen in Tokyo on March 15, 2020. (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP) (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images)
CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/Getty Images

The International Olympic Committee reportedly has ruled out staging the 2020 Tokyo Olympics behind closed doors and described the suggestion of holding the Games without spectators as "not an option."

Sean Ingle at the Guardian reported both the IOC and Tokyo's Organised Committee are "continuing to maintain" the Olympics will go ahead as planned. 

The Games are due to start on July 24 and run until August 9 but have been thrown into doubt due to the coronavirus outbreak that has forced the postponement of a raft of sporting events around the world.

The IOC have held meetings to discuss holding the Games without fans but have seen the idea rejected, per Ingle. A source reportedly said: "An event with closed doors and no spectators is not an option."

The report cites another source as explaining why the suggestion has been vetoed: "It would go against everything we stand for. The Olympics is more than just a series of competitions, it is about bringing everyone together to celebrate sport."

The coronavirus pandemic has brought major disruption to all sport and has already impacted the Olympic Games.

The torch-lighting ceremony was held without supporters, while large crowds prompted the Greek leg of the torch relay to be ended early, per the Olympic Channel.

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Qualifying events in a number of sports including football, climbing, wrestling, judo and diving have also been postponed or cancelled due to the coronavirus. 

Meanwhile, the Olympic boxing qualifiers currently being held in London are going ahead behind closed doors, per Dan Roan at BBC Sport.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a news conference on Friday that he is hopeful the Games will go ahead as planned and "without a hitch."

Tokyo 2020 organisers are due to hold a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the current situation regarding the pandemic and the impact it is likely to have on the Olympics, per BBC Sport.

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