International fans will be able to buy tickets online for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in May ©Tokyo 2020

International fans will be able to buy tickets online for this year's Olympic Games in Tokyo in May, organisers have confirmed.

The official website will operate a first come, first served system from the middle of the month, with exact dates not announced.

Only people in Japan have been able to buy tickets online so far, with millions taking part in two lotteries.

Japanese fans will also have access to a first-come, first-served process earlier, with this running from April 28 to May 7.

This is restricted to people in the host nation who are drawn following a postcode lottery, however.

Applications to enter this lottery will be accepted between February 20 and March 13.

People living outside Japan can now purchase tickets through authorised ticket resellers in their home countries, with this process beginning in June.

They are often sold bundled with travel and hotels.

More than 4.4 million Olympic tickets have already been sold in Japan following the two domestic lotteries.

There has been huge demand for Tokyo 2020 tickets ©Tokyo 2020
There has been huge demand for Tokyo 2020 tickets ©Tokyo 2020

The first lottery, between May 9 and 28 last year, saw more than 3.2 million tickets sold.

However, a huge number of people missed out as more than 7.5 million Japanese entered the ballot.

The official ticketing website was visited more than 24 million times in May with traffic overwhelming the system, prompting organisers to extend the application phase by 12 hours.

An additional ballot for those unsuccessful during the first lottery was then held between August 8 and 19 as a result of the high demand, with 350,000 more tickets sold.

Organisers considered this to still be part of the first ballot, with the second lottery then launched on November 13.

More than one million tickets were available for nearly every sport on the programme this time, as well as the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, with the process drawing to a close on November 26.

Overall demand was said to have exceeded eight million when the second lottery closed.