The 2020 Paralympic Games will kick off in Tokyo with the opening ceremony on Tuesday as Japan struggles with its worst COVID-19 outbreak so far, record daily cases and an overwhelmed medical system.
The organisers admitted last week that the Paralympics will be held under “very difficult” circumstances as Japan’s health situation has worsened since the Olympic Games ended on August 8 and hospitals in the host city are filled to capacity, Reuters reported.
The Japanese government and the Tokyo Metropolitan government appealed on Monday to hospitals in the capital to accept more COVID-19 patients as increasing infections have made access to care increasingly difficult.
While the number of athletes and officials travelling from abroad is less than a third of that during the Olympics, Japan reported more than 25,000 daily cases on three days last week, up from less than 15,000 when the Olympics ended earlier this month.
Organisers of the Paralympics, which will take place between August 24 and September 5, have said they plan to implement the same COVID-19 protocols as the ones used during the Olympics, Reuters reported.
Frequent testing and other restrictions, such as limiting the movement of athletes and officials, proved to be effective in minimising infection risks during the Games, they have added.
Like the Olympics, the Paralympics will also take place generally without spectators and organisers have asked the domestic Games officials to avoid eating out or drinking in groups.
At least 174 people dead after riot at Indonesian football match
At least 174 people were killed and around 180 injured at a soccer match in Indonesia after panicked fans were trampled and crushed trying to flee during a riot, police said on Sunday, in what appeared to be one of the world’s worst stadium disasters, Reuters reported.
When supporters of the losing home team invaded the pitch in East Java province on Saturday night to express their frustration, officers fired tear gas in an attempt to control the situation, triggering a stampede and cases of suffocation, East Java police chief Nico Afinta told reporters.
“It had gotten anarchic. They started attacking officers, they damaged cars,” Nico said, adding that the crush occurred when fans fled for an exit gate.
Video footage from local news channels showed fans streaming onto the pitch in the stadium in Malang after Arema FC lost to Persebaya Surabaya. Scuffles can be seen, with what appeared to be tear gas in the air, read the report.
Images showed people who appeared to have lost consciousness being carried away by other fans.
According to Reuters the head of one of the hospitals in the area treating patients told Metro TV that some of the victims had sustained brain injuries and that the dead included a five-year-old child.
World soccer’s governing body FIFA specifies in its safety regulations that no firearms or “crowd control gas” should be carried or used by stewards or police.
East Java police did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether they were aware of such regulations.
Indonesia’s human rights commission planned to investigate security at the ground, including the use of tear gas, its commissioner told Reuters.
The country’s chief security minister, Mahfud MD, said in an Instagram post that the stadium had been filled beyond its capacity. He said 42,000 tickets had been issued for a stadium that is only supposed to hold 38,000 people.
Financial aid would be given to the injured and the families of victims, East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa told reporters.
There have been outbreaks of trouble at matches in Indonesia before, with strong rivalries between clubs sometimes leading to violence among supporters, Reuters reported.
Zainudin Amali, Indonesia’s sports minister, told KompasTV the ministry would re-evaluate safety at football matches, including considering not allowing spectators in stadiums.
The Indonesian top league BRI Liga 1 has suspended games for a week and an investigation had been launched, the Football Association of Indonesia said.
Among global stadium disasters, 96 Liverpool supporters were crushed to death in Britain in April 1989, when an overcrowded and fenced-in enclosure collapsed at the Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield.
According to Reuters Indonesia is scheduled to host the FIFA under-20 World Cup in May and June next year. They are also one of three countries bidding to stage next year’s Asian Cup, the continent’s equivalent of the Euros, after China pulled out as hosts.
Nabi rises to No.1 in ICC T20I all-rounder rankings
Afghanistan’s Mohammad Nabi has claimed the No.1 spot in the latest ICC T20I player rankings for all-rounders, displacing Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan.
Shakib was absent form Bangladesh’s squad in their two-match T20I series against UAE, as a result of which he lost five rating points.
Currently, Nabi has 246 ranking points, while Shakib’s is 243.
In the all-rounder rankings, England’s Moen Ali sits on third position, while Sri Lanka’s Wanindu Hasaranga is in the fourth spot.
Meanwhile, Afghan bowler Rashid Khan also moved up by one spot to fourth in the latest T20I bowling rankings.
Qatar confirms COVID test requirements for World Cup fans
Fans attending the Qatar 2022 World Cup must show a negative COVID-19 test when they arrive as part of the host nation’s rules to combat the virus, news agencies reported.
Organisers announced on Thursday that all visitors aged 18 and over must also download a government-run phone application tracking people’s movements and health status, called Ehteraz.
According to the news reports fans aged six and above must be able to show a negative result from a PCR test taken in the 48 hours before arriving or from an official rapid test taken within 24 hours.
The COVID-19 testing policy for visitors aged six and over is _“regardless of the individual’s vaccination status,” t_he Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy said in a statement.
Vaccination is not mandatory for the 1.2 million expected visitors for the tournament which runs from November 20th to December 18th, read the reports.
Masks must be worn on public transport, including the subway system that many fans will use to get to the eight stadiums in and around Doha.
World Cup organisers also said that “anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 while in Qatar will be required to isolate in accordance with Ministry of Public Health guidelines”.
The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ will take place from November 20 to December 18 and Afghan fans will not miss out on any of the action.
Ariana Television Network (ATN) in July secured the exclusive rights to broadcast what is undoubtedly one of the greatest sporting events in the world. As such, fans will be able to watch the matches live, in the comfort of their own homes.
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