POC boss hopes OFWs in Tokyo will be allowed to cheer for Team PH

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 03 2021 04:13 PM

POC boss hopes OFWs in Tokyo will be allowed to cheer for Team PH 1
General view shows the venue during women's seeding run event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Cycling BMX test event at Ariake Urban Sports Park in Tokyo, Japan May 17, 2021. Issei Kato, Reuters

MANILA, Philippines -- A top Philippine sports official is hoping that Filipinos in Tokyo will get to watch the country's athletes when they compete in the Olympic Games.

This, amid the uncertainty regarding the presence of fans in the Olympic events.

"Will they allow the locals? Dati in-allow nila," Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Rep. Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino said in a recent interview. 

"As of today, wala pa kaming balita kung i-a-allow nila," he added.

Organizers have already barred foreign spectators from attending, but have yet to announce if Japanese fans can watch in the venues.

According to a Reuters report, Japan's Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura has said that excited fans, shouting and hugging is a COVID-19 risk.

Tolentino remains hopeful that local fans will be allowed -- and that the overseas Filipino workers in Japan will be able to watch the Philippine athletes and cheer for them.

"Ang mag-chi-cheer sana sa atin sa Tokyo, locals. To be coordinated sa mga different embassies, so 'yung mga local natin na Filipinos na andoon, mga OFWs na andoon, sila ang mag-chi-cheer sa atin," said Tolentino.

"Doon nga namin ibibigay ang tickets sa embassy for that -- kung itutuloy pa ng organizers 'yung cheering ng locals," he added.

The organizers are expected to announce a decision on whether local spectators will be allowed later this month. Tokyo remains under a state of emergency until June 20. 

On Thursday, organizers revealed that around 10,000 of the 80,000 planned volunteers have quit, casting further doubts on the Games with just 50 days to go before the opening ceremony.

However, the president of the organizing committee ruled out a further postponement of the Olympics.

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