Tokyo Olympics Countdown, 50 days to go: A Ghana football player from the Under-24 team tested positive for the coronavirus after arriving in Japan for a friendly, the Japan Football Association (JFA) said on Thursday. This is the first positive case of a foreign athlete -bound for Olympics reported in Japan.
The development comes just two days after the JFA cancelled a friendly match against Jamaica as 10 of its players were unable to board a flight to Japan due to testing issues.
The player had been isolated from the rest of the squad and staff, who are themselves isolated at a designated facility.
The Ghana team will now need clearance from the medical team before they are allowed to play the match scheduled on Saturday. The visitors had left its destination with proof of negative COVID-19 tests within 72 hours of its departure as mandated, the JFA said.
Toyko Olympics Countdow – 50 days to go: Japan still in state of emergency
Japan is battling the four wave of the pandemic just 50 days ahead of the scheduled start of the Tokyo Games. Tokyo and other regions around it are under a state of emergency until June 20.
The country’s top coronavirus adviser said on Wednesday that it is “not normal” to host this summer’s Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics amid the pandemic. Shigeru Omi, an infectious disease expert who heads a government subcommittee on the coronavirus, also said the Tokyo Games organizing committee is responsible for drawing up sufficient anti-virus measures to ensure the safety of the participants.
“It is not normal to (host the games) under the current situation,” Omi told a parliament committee, a day before the 50-day countdown to the opening of the Olympics.
“If they were to be held during a pandemic, it is the organizers’ responsibility to scale them down as much as possible and strengthen the management system,” he said.
Tokyo Olympics Countdown- 50 days to go: 10,000 volunteers withdraw
Meanwhile, around 10,000 volunteers have quit the Tokyo Games, confirmed the Japanese organising committee. The no.of volunteers has now come down to nearly 70,000.
“I think there is no doubt that one of the reasons is concern over coronavirus infections,” Toshiro Muto, CEO of the organizing committee, told reporters, but said it would not seriously affect operations because the games are expected to be scaled down from their original plans.
The organizing committee said that about 1,000 volunteers had quit as of late February. As the Tokyo Games were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Muto said some of the volunteers may have dropped out due to scheduling conflicts or because they had to move.
(Note: With inputs from Agency)