Guinea will not take part in the Tokyo Olympic Games, the country’s sports ministry announced late Wednesday.
The West African country cited the increasing number of coronavirus infections and concerns about the health of athletes as the reasons behind their decision.
The delegation would have consisted of five athletes. Guinea is the second country to decide not to send any athletes to Tokyo. North Korea is the first.
The Olympics will officially open on Friday in Tokyo, Japan, with the opening ceremony.
Meanwhile, the organizers have sacked the creative director of the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony hours before the event.
Olympics organizers announced the decision at a press conference on Thursday and cited an incident years ago in which Kentaro Kobayashi is said to have made fun of the Holocaust.
The Holocaust refers to the killing by the Nazis of millions of Jews during World War II.
The entire opening programme will be closely scrutinized again, organizing committee chief executive Toshiro Muto said.
Japanese news agency Kyodo reported the jokes had come to light in a recently surfaced video of Mr. Kobayashi, a former comedian.
Mr. Kobayashi’s dismissal is the latest blow to organisers of the Olympics, which are being held without spectators because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The composer for the opening ceremony, Keigo Oyamada, recently resigned after reports surfaced online that he had bullied disabled children during his school days.
On Monday, the 52-year-old announced he was quitting the creative team in charge of the ceremony, scheduled to take place at the National Stadium in the Japanese capital.
Mr. Oyamada, who is also known as Cornelius, has apologised.