1. ‘Impossible to bring in foreign spectators’
Reports from Japan indicate that foreign spectators will not be allowed to attend this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo - should the rescheduled event go ahead.
Seiko Hashimoto, the new president of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee, has “hinted” that international fans will be barred, The Guardian says. Meanwhile, Japanese newspaper Mainichi reports that the decision had already been made: “In the current situation it is impossible to bring in foreign spectators.”
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In a poll conducted by Kyodo News in January, it was found that “around 80%” of people in Japan believe the postponed Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics should be cancelled or rescheduled because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
After an online meeting with the International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, Hashimoto told reporters: “If the situation is tough and it would make the [Japanese] consumers concerned, that is a situation we need to avoid from happening.”
2. Arteta plays down Barça rumours
Mikel Arteta says he is “fully focused” on managing Arsenal after reports in Spain suggested he was a possible candidate for the top job at FC Barcelona.
La Liga giants Barça will hold their presidential elections on Sunday and candidate Joan Laporta has “reportedly identified Arteta as a potential replacement for current boss Ronald Koeman”, Sky Sports reports.
Spaniard Arteta, who played for the Catalan club’s academy, said in response to the rumours: “There is always going to be speculation when there are elections in Barcelona. It’s a huge team and obviously I was raised there as a player, and they’re always going to be linked. But I’m fully focused on the job that I have to do here. We have a lot to do and I’m really enjoying it.”
3. Arum: Joshua vs. Fury fight is agreed
Bob Arum, founder and CEO of Top Rank, says “all the points” have been agreed for the heavyweight world title unification fight between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury.
While no date or venue has been confirmed for the all-British bout, Arum, who is Fury’s promoter, told iFL TV that the blockbuster clash is on.
He said: “Yeah, as far as I am concerned. That’s what each side has said. Now, we are scrambling around to get the thing signed and everything. But I can say clearly, based on my view on everything, that there are no more issues.”
4. Uefa still intends to stage Euros in 12 countries
Uefa is still planning to stage this summer’s European Championship across 12 countries despite Boris Johnson’s offer to host all games in Britain. With London and Glasgow already hosting a number of matches, the prime minister said the UK is prepared to step in should Covid-19 restrictions force a change to the tournament’s schedule.
However, in a statement to Sky Sports, European football’s governing body said: “Since the tournament was announced, as to be staged across 12 countries, it has remained Uefa’s intention to stage it in 12 countries.”
5. Aston Martin unveils the AMR21
Aston Martin has officially launched its new challenger for the 2021 Formula 1 season - the AMR21.
After taking over the Racing Point team, the British luxury car brand is making its return to F1 for the first time in 60 years and will have Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll as its driver line-up.
Former Ferrari driver Vettel is looking forward to racing the AMR21 and says the team has an “unofficial, or maybe official target” of finishing third in the constructors’ championship, the BBC reports.
When asked about challenging Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari for the title, Vettel said: “It is a journey everyone is excited to embark on but we are not expecting to arrive tomorrow. If we do, I don’t think anybody minds. But it is not going to be that easy.”
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