Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Tokyo Olympic hockey could have 5,000 Japanese fans

The opening match of the Olympic hockey competition could see up to 5,000 local fans attend when Japan men take on Australia at the Oi Hockey Stadium, writes Cassie Worth.

Tokyo 2020 organisers agreed on Monday to allow up to 10,000 domestic ticket holders at each Games venue, on the premise that it doesn’t exceed 50 per cent of a venue’s capacity.

The main pitch at the Oi has an expected capacity of around 10,000, while the second pitch has approximate seating for 5,000 spectators.

While Japan men start against the Kookaburras on Saturday July 24, Japan women start their campaign on July 25 against China.

An IOC statement said: “The Japanese parties have formulated guidelines for spectators aimed at ensuring safe and secure environments.

“These stipulate that masks should be worn in venues at all times; speaking in a loud voice or shouting will be prohibited; congestion should be avoided by means of appropriate announcements; and visitors should leave venues in a staggered manner.

“Spectators will be requested to travel directly to venues and return home directly, and to take all necessary precautions when moving between prefectures.”

Tokyo has now moved to a quasi-state of emergency, which comes a day after a third state of emergency since April ended.

Organisers also revealed on Monday that venues could still be free of spectators should the Covid infection rates increase come Games time.

Foreign spectators have already been barred from the Olympics.

A Kyodo News survey over the weekend revealed that around 86 per cent Japanese are concerned about a resurgence in cases if the Olympics take place.

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