By Tim Stannard
Despite the chance of no fans in the stands and countries being barred entry to Japan, the Olympic Games will go on
The US government warns against travel to Japan for its citizens due to a fourth wave of COVID-19. Ten areas of the country are currently under a state of emergency. No international fans are able to attend the Games.
Even local fans may not be able to go to events. Heck, some countries may not even be allowed to send their athletes if the Japanese government deems it a risk. Athletes could be sidelined if testing positive during an event, to forever leave an asterisk in the column of some results.
Yet the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are set to go ahead says its president, Seiko Hashimoto, to the BBC with the Games just 50 days away on the 23rd July - "I believe that the possibility of these Games going on is 100% that we will do this."
The podiums for the Victory Ceremony of the Olympic and Paralympic Games are 🔥!— #Tokyo2020 (@Tokyo2020) June 3, 2021
For the first time in history, they are made from recycled plastic ♻️ donated by the Japanese public.
Watch the #Tokyo2020 Victory Ceremony: https://t.co/VIy5CQkvwF pic.twitter.com/vg41a7LzQI
The challenge for the organizers of the biggest and most complex sporting event on the planet is already huge, never mind having to recreate an NBA style bubble for multiple events across the country, where only around 3% of the country has been vaccinated. "We will defend and protect their health," declared Hashimoto who was herself a seven-time Olympian.
Opinion polls in Japan show a society that is wary of going ahead with the Games under such conditions, but until someone, somewhere says something otherwise - and it doesn't look like anyone will - the show must and will go on with the Olympic Games.
Brazil set to kick off Copa America v3...in Brazil
Staying on a ploughing-ahead-no-matter-what theme and South America's governing body of soccer, CONMEBOL, has produced concrete evidence that the much-moved Copa America v3 will take place in Brazil in just over a week's time.
A fixture list has been made that completely rewrites the previous one and now has Brazil kicking off the tournament on 13 June against Venezuela, pushing Argentina - the former co-hosts - to the next day for their debut. The final of the tournament will take place in the Maracana on 10 July.
In the meantime, those same eight countries involved in Copa America v3 will be in action on Thursday and Friday in World Cup qualifying. Today's action is headlined by Argentina taking on Chile, the same match-up as the Albiceleste's first game in the Copa America v3.
Ancelotti - "you've got a place! You've got a place!"
In the wide, wide world of soccer, Carlo Ancelotti's first words as Real Madrid coach has given hope to pretty much everyone in the squad including Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale who could both see action next season.
The question of whether Sergio Ramos is there as well is still open. Despite encouraging noises from Ancelotti, the chance of a new deal for the Madrid captain remains elusive says Spanish media.
Romelu Lukaku has removed himself from the summer transfer train declaring fealty to Inter Milan where he just won the Serie A title - "I feel good at Inter." Meanwhile his former boss, Antonio Conte, could be announced as the new coach of Tottenham in the upcoming days for a second stint in the Premier League.
Barcelona's freebie tour of Europe is set to continue with the possible double-Dutch purchases of Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum on free transfers, a sure sign that Ronald Koeman is staying on with Barcelona if ever there was one.