SJA Notebook: Tokyo 2020 officials seek to reduce Games accreditations

Tokyo 2020 officials are seeking to slash the number of accreditations for this year’s Olympics and Paralympics, according to local media reports.

Last week the Japanese government confirmed that overseas fans would be banned from travelling, however it was expected this decision would not apply to 90,000 members of the ‘Games family’ – from athletes to officials to media.

IOC press operations director Lucia Montanarella had previously said numbers of accredited media would not be cut, though strict social distancing restrictions will be in place to limit those allowed into venues and mixed zones.

However, according to news agency Kyodo, organisers are now considering halving the number of games-related officials and participants, excluding athletes, to around 30,000.

International Olympic Committee this week stressed they’d only grant accreditation to people who have ‘essential and operational roles’ for the Games – with spouses of IOC members not allowed to travel.

Olympic minister Tamayo Marukawa is on the record as wanting the number of people involved in the games to be reduced as much as possible.

This week the Daily Telegraph reported the BBC would be sending a skeleton team to Tokyo, with many commentators expected to call events from studios in the UK.

The corporation sent 455 staff to Rio but this number will be sizeably reduced, with big-name presenters based at BBC Sport’s UK headquarters in Salford.

Eurosport, who share UK broadcast rights with the BBC, are also expected to significantly decrease their number of travelling staff from initial plans.

And US broadcasting giant NBC, who accredit more media staff than any other organisation, have already confirmed they are massively scaling back on their travelling contingent.

Earlier this year, the IOC released a detailed ‘playbook’ for accredited media, who will not be allowed to eat in restaurants or use public transport. A new version of the playbook is due for release in mid-April.

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