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No spectators to attend Tokyo Olympic Games torch lighting ceremony
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics torch lighting ceremony in Greece will be held without spectators after for the first time in more 35 years.
The move by Greece’s Olympic Committee has been introduced as part of increased measures to protect against the coronavirus.
Spectators would be excluded from both the dress rehearsal at the ancient site of Olympia and the widely broadcast ceremony. The ceremony usually attracts several thousand spectators.
In a statement, the Greek Olympic Committee advised "the lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame will be done without the presence of spectators and only 100 invited and accredited guests.
“The dress rehearsal on March 11 will be closed to spectators and media.”
The number of people inside the ancient stadium will also be reduced with only a few dozen representatives of the Tokyo Games from a group of about 150 allowed access to the ceremony.
Olympia Mayor Giorgos Georgiopoulos said in a letter to International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach "the danger of staging the torch lighting with only a handful of spectators, limited number of officials and delegations, and under a cloud of fear and concern will damage the greatness and prestige of this event.
“With a sense of responsibility, the municipal authority, all parties of the city council of Ancient Olympia, in order to secure the global radiance of the event asks the IOC which has the exclusive responsibility of organizing it to consider the possibility of moving the torch lighting ceremony to May of this year.”
4th March 2020 - Coronavirus fears sees AFL cancel Shanghai fixture
26th February 2020 - Top IOC member speculates Coronavirus threatens delivery of Tokyo Olympics
12th February 2020 - Coronavirus continues to impact China’s sports events
10th February 2020 - Tokyo Olympic organisers emphasise Games will go ahead despite coronavirus
3rd February 2020 - Indoor arena for 2020 Olympics and Paralympics opened in Tokyo
15th January 2020 - International Olympic Committee deliver guidelines on political protests
6th January 2020 - Chinese organisers move forward with 2022 Winter Olympics venues
10th December 2019 - World Anti-Doping Agency bans Russia from Tokyo Olympics and 2022 FIFA World Cup
3rd December 2019 - Completed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium handed over to Japan Sport Council
13th November 2019 - Inaugural world Skateboarding Summit outlines pre 2020 Olympic plans
20th August 2019 - Heat issues impact Tokyo Olympic test events
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