2020 Olympic golf course votes to allow women to join as members

The golf course that will host the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will not be stripped of the event after changing its membership policy to include women.

On Monday, the Kasumigaseki Country Club announced that its executive board decided on the change after discussions among its members. The membership policy came under scrutiny when Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike urged it to admit women as full members.

The lift of the ban on women came just three days after IOC President Thomas Bach warned the club of consequences for upholding a ban on female members.

“Should gender equality not be respected, then we would look for another venue which would ensure non-discrimination,” Bach said last Friday at a news conference in South Korea.

Yoshiro Mori, president of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee, said the change is a good thing.

“I’d like to extend my gratitude to the members of the club for their understanding and cooperation,” Mori said in a statement.

The club’s policy had excluded women from full-fledged membership but not from playing or other types of membership.

[More from Excelle Sports: IOC says 2020 Olympic golf venue must allow women to join]

Kasumigaseki was founded in 1929 and is one of Japan’s oldest and most prestigious golf clubs.

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