Story By: Juan Mayes, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Golder’s News And Sport
The Japanese Football Federation has postponed all matches until 15th March and organisers of the Tokyo Marathon are limiting participants to only elite athletes due to the coronavirus outbreak.
J-League director Mitsuru Murai made a statement announcing all matches set to take place in the top three tiers of Japanese football in the next weeks will be postponed.
Murai said: “We have decided to postpone the matches for tomorrow and all of the matches set to take place until 15th March” due to coronavirus, officially named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization.
The J-League issued a statement saying it “will take all necessary measures to avoid the spread (of COVID-19) and we are already working on preparations to continue all of the official matches in mid-March.”
The J-League has not been the only major sporting event to be affected by COVID-19 as the Tokyo Marathon, one of the major marathons in the world, has been restricted to only elite athletes.
Tokyo Marathon 2020 issued a statement saying it is “implementing preventive safety measures, however, now that case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Tokyo, we cannot continue to launch the event with the scale we originally anticipated and we regret to inform you of the following:
“Tokyo Marathon 2020 will be held only for the marathon elites and the wheelchair elites.”(sic)
The Tokyo Marathon had a reported 38,000 participants, however, the preventative measure will bring them down to 200. The marathon is set to take place on Sunday 1st March.
There have been a reported 171 cases of COVID-19 and two deaths in Japan.
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