COVID-19 protocols prevent Jamaica’s soccer team from entering Japan, cancellation of match

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COVID-19 protocols prevent Jamaica’s soccer team from entering Japan, cancellation of match

Several players from Jamaica’s men’s national soccer team were barred from entering Japan on Tuesday due to undefined COVID-19 protocols, prompting the cancellation of a June 2 match against the host of the Summer Olympics in Japan, the Associated Press reported. The Japan Football Federation did not disclose the specific reason why the Jamaican athletes were banned from the country.

Tokyo, Osaka and other prefectures are under a COVID-19 state of emergency that is expected to last until June 20, while Japanese polls show a majority of residents want the Olympics canceled or postponed again.

Despite the mounting pressure, the International Olympic Committee reported that more than 80% of athletes and staff will be vaccinated and in a bubble during their time in Japan.

Additional Associated Press reports can be found below.

The Australian Olympic women’s softball team arrived in Japan on the same day as the Jamaican soccer team, making it one of the earliest to arrive in the country before the Games opened on July 23. David Pryles, Softball Australia’s general manager, said the team would take “extreme care” to protect itself and the public from the virus.

“All staff and players traveling to Japan today are fully vaccinated thanks to the Australian Olympic Committee,” Pryles said Tuesday. “They will also undergo rigorous testing and screening as soon as they land at the airport and throughout the camp and [the]Olympics.”

Pryles said the players will only move around one floor of the team hotel in Ota, where they will have meals, meetings and fitness exercises, as well as the stadium, where they will play a series of games against local professional teams and two games against the Japanese national team.

“We are incredibly grateful to the residents of the city of Ota and its government for hosting the team, which will respect the restrictions imposed on us,” he said.

Ian Chesterman, head of the Australian Olympic contingent, said the athletes and officials were “very pleased” with the arrangements made for the Tokyo Games.

“These athletes … are committed to not only taking care of themselves, but doing the right thing for the Japanese people and being ready for the Games,” Chesterman said. “And I think we’re very pleased with the protocols that have been put in place. This is a brief summary.

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