Samoa caretaker govt pulls country’s team from Tokyo Olympics

The Tokyo Olympics will not be able to take place next summer unless a COVID-19 vaccine is found, a leading Japanese vaccine researcher has told Sky News. Photo: Sky News. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

APIA, Jul 1, 2021, RNZ. Samoa’s caretaker government has said the country’s athletes will not be competing at the Tokyo Olympics, Radio New Zealand reported.

However, the team has not been officially notified of any withdrawal.

A meeting is scheduled this afternoon to discuss the team’s involvement in the Games.

The caretaker Cabinet decided on Wednesday to prevent Team Samoa from travelling to Japan due to Covid-19.

The caretaker Minister of Communications, Afamasaga Rico Tupa’i, said that with reports Japan has a 500 daily infection rate, the Cabinet decided prevention takes precedence.

Afamasaga said the decision was made because the chance of infection was too high.

However, Samoa’s Olympic committee said later on Thursday that it was only withdrawing its weightlifting team from the Tokyo Games.

The committee’s president, Patrick Fepuleai, told Reuters that Samoa’s other athletes who were already overseas would attend.

Samoa had earlier selected athletes from several sports including weightlifting, boxing, sailing and athletics, but neither rugby sevens team had qualified.

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