Tokyo Olympics: Fans May Face Cheering Ban, Says Top Official


Fans is also asked not to cheer at the Tokyo Olympics to keep away from the risk of spreading the coronavirus, a top official said on Thursday. The comments follow a gymnastics test event in Tokyo on Sunday where mask-wearing spectators, urged not to shout or cheer, confined themselves to mannered applause and murmurs of approval. Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshiro Muto said fans arriving in Japan is also spared a mandatory two-week quarantine, saying it would be too tough to enforce. But he said officials were also considering urging fans not to shout or talk loudly, to minimise the risk of Covid-19 infections at the postponed 2020 Games.

“There is a opportunity that we would ask the (Olympic) spectators to chorus from shouting or talking in a loud voice,” Muto said after a committee assembly.

“When we think of the have an effect on, we imagine it is an item for consideration, to minimize the risk of airborne droplets.”

On the other hand, Muto added that the “practicality and feasibility” of clamping down on cheering had to be thought to be.

While sports competitions around the globe have resumed after shutting down for the pandemic, most are taking place in the back of closed doors.

Fans are allowed at sports events in Japan, in most cases in limited numbers, but they’re advised not to shout and cheer.

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, who will visit next week, on Wednesday said he used to be more and more self-assured that a “fair number” of fans will be allowed at the Games.

Muto said officials were considering waiving quarantine for arriving fans and replacing it with a series of tests and health checks.

Athletes’ and officials’ movements will be heavily restricted for two weeks after they enter the country, but this is difficult to execute for fans, he said.

Quarantine ‘unrealistic’

“As the number of foreign spectators is so high, 14 days of quarantine and a ban on public transport use is unrealistic,” he told reporters after a committee assembly.

Instead, “pre-visit tests and health monitoring, careful screening at the border, post-entry checks on activities and health, (and) taking swift measures whether symptoms appear” are a few of the measures being thought to be.

The Olympics were delayed for a year to next July by the coronavirus pandemic but despite a rising caseload worldwide, the outlook is brightening for the Games.

Tokyo has begun holding test events, including a near-capacity baseball game and Sunday’s four-nation gymnastics competition held in tightly controlled bio-secure conditions.

Olympic chief Bach, whose visit next week will be his first since the Games were delayed, said the events were a positive signal.

“Having seen the different tests in Japan, we will transform an increasing number of self-assured that we can have a fair number of spectators also in Olympic venues,” he said after an IOC executive board assembly.

“How many and under which conditions, it’s going to… very much depend on future developments.”


Japan currently has a strict ban on virtually all in-bound foreign tourism. Muto said any cap on the number of spectators, or rules for visiting crowds, would be determined in the spring.

At Sunday’s gymnastics competition, around 2,000 fans in face masks remained socially distanced at an 8,700-capacity Olympic venue, while being encouraged not to shout.

Topics mentioned in this article

Top stories / News / Sports


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here