“Admit women or lose Tokyo golf,” the club scheduled to host the golf tournament at the 2020 Tokyo Games was told by IOC vice president John Coates, chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission for the Tokyo Games.
Speaking during the Asian Winter Games in Sapporo, Coates insisted the club must allow women to have full membership or organizers will have to find another venue. The private Kasumigaseki Country Club in Saitama Prefecture, which is set to host both men’s and women’s tournaments in July and August 2020, forbids women from playing on Sundays and excludes them from becoming full members. According to Reuters, Coates had only become aware of the issue on his last visit to Tokyo at the end of last year and that organizers were now aware of the IOC’s stance.
“We made quite clear that there has to be gender equality,” Coates said. “If they can’t achieve the gender equality then we have to get another course, but the organizers are very confident that they will.”
Japanese media reported that members of the club had met on Sunday to hear an explanation of the situation. The club was closed on Monday and nobody was available to comment. Coates said he was aware that discussions were under way.
“They either will or they won’t,” he said. “There’s plenty of time to move to another golf course if we have to.”
This story first appeared in the blog, The Sport Intern. The editor is Karl-Heinz Huba of Lorsch, Germany. He can be reached at ISMG@aol.com. The article is reprinted here with permission of Huba.