Half of Tokyo residents oppose Olympics in 2021: Poll
Just over half of Tokyo’s residents don’t think the postponed 2020 Olympics should be held next year, backing either a further delay or outright cancelation because of fears over the coronavirus, according to a poll published Monday.
The survey carried out by two Japanese news organizations is only a single data point, but comes after health experts warned that even a year’s delay may not be sufficient to hold the Games safely, AFP reported.
The poll conducted over the weekend found 51.7 percent of respondents hope the Games in 2021 are postponed again or canceled, while 46.3 percent want to see the rescheduled Olympics go ahead.
Among those opposed to a 2021 Games, 27.7 percent said they want them canceled altogether, while 24 percent would
Former Barcelona great Xavi Hernandez said he hopes to return to the Spanish club as head coach when the timing is right and that his technical team is already preparing for it.
Spanish media had reported that Xavi, who coaches Qatari club Al Sadd, had been approached by Barca to replace Ernesto Valverde before Quique Setien was appointed in January, Reuters reported.
Barca is two points behind leader Real Madrid with six matches remaining in the campaign.
“The biggest hope I have now is to be Barca coach and get Barca back to winning ways,” Spanish daily Sport quoted Xavi as saying in a video call where the 40-year-old outlined his plans for the future.
Xavi said he hoped to begin from scratch if he took over.
“I’m a club man. I would like to return at the right moment to start a project from zero. I’ve said it a lot of times but I want prefer a second postponement.
The telephone poll, conducted by Kyodo News and Tokyo MX television from June 26-28, received 1,030 replies.
Of those who said they want to see the Games held next year, 31.1 percent said the event should be in a scaled-back form, including without spectators, while 15.2 percent said they wanted to see a full-blown Olympics.
Tokyo 2020 was postponed in March as the coronavirus spread across the globe, causing the worst disruption to the Olympics since two editions were canceled during World War II.
The Games are now scheduled to begin on July 23, 2021, although they will still be known as the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Officials from Japan and the International Olympic Committee have warned it will not be to take footballing decisions at Barcelona,” he added.
“It’s clear that after the elections the stage would be set, of course. I’m not ruling anything out.
“They came for me in January, we were speaking. I told them the circumstances and timing weren’t right.”
Meanwhile, Barcelona coach Setien said he does not always see eye-to-eye with his squad as their La Liga title bid threatens to unravel following Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Celta Vigo.
Barca faces a grueling match at home to third-placed Atletico Madrid today which it needs to win to stay in close contention in the title race.
“It’s true that you often have arguments with players as you do in everyday life and that’s nothing new,” Setien told a virtual news conference on Monday.
“I was not an easy player to possible to postpone again, and even the year-long delay has created significant financial and logistical headaches.
The poll, conducted ahead of the Tokyo gubernatorial election on July 5, also found incumbent Yuriko Koike leading her opponents “by a large margin”.
Her precise lead was not specified, in keeping with a media tradition of not publishing polling figures in the days before a vote.
Koike has been heavily involved in preparations for the Games, traveling to Rio for the handover ceremony after the last Summer Olympics.
Earlier this month, she told AFP that the rescheduled Olympics will be safe despite the coronavirus pandemic, pledging a “120 percent effort” to ensure the first-ever postponed Games can go ahead.
deal with and I understand this perfectly well. What we have to do is try to convince everyone that we have to defend a common idea,” added the former Atletico Madrid, Logrones and Racing Santander midfielder.
Footage of the Celta match showed Lionel Messi ignoring instructions from assistant Eder Sarabia during the water break.
Striker Luis Suarez, meanwhile, appeared to criticize Setien in a post-match interview, saying it was the coaching staff’s job to analyze why the team keeps dropping points away from home.
Setien, however, tried to play down suggestions there was a rift between him and his players.
“These are random incidents and I don’t give them too much importance. When you don’t win games everyone tries to stir the pot but this is the circus we’re in,” he said.
“We’re more concerned about the general atmosphere of the team and overall the relationship with the squad is good. It’s true that we don’t agree about certain things but I don’t think there’s any problem worth mentioning.”
The 61-year-old Setien, whose biggest job before Barca was with Real Betis, also said he was not used to dealing with a dressing room of Barca’s caliber and personalities but added that it was vital everyone worked in the team’s best interests.
“I have no problem in admitting that this level is new to me, and that I’m in a learning process,” he added.
“We all have to step back a bit for the good of the team, including the players. You can’t do everything you want.
“This is a team and has to act like one. Sometimes you have to sacrifice personal things for the good of the team, that’s what’s going to give us victory.”