What We're Reading

No soccer in Japan through March

  • AP, Monday, March 14, 2011 3:55 PM

Japan's national soccer league, the J-League, has canceled all games for the rest of the month because of the devastation from the massive earthquake and tsunami. At least one club's stadium is destroyed and its players disbanded. More games could be lost in April depending on the disaster recovery, J-League chairman Kazumi Ohigashi said. He cited continuing aftershocks and the "inability to guarantee complete safety at all the stadiums."

Asia's richest nation faces a mounting humanitarian, nuclear and economic crisis. The official death toll is nearly 1,900, but the true number is much higher. In Miyagi, the police chief has said 10,000 people are estimated to have died in his province alone.

At least 41 J-League games have been postponed indefinitely, meaning the J-League probably will have no choice but to play cup and league matches in July when the national team is abroad.

Vegalta Sendai's stadium and facilities are in ruins. The team's foreign players have headed home, and Japanese players from other regions are leaving. The national team also might withdraw from upcoming international games, the Japanese news agency Kyodo reported. National coach Alberto Zaccheroni returned to Italy from Tokyo the day after the earthquake, casting doubt on exhibition games against Montenegro and New Zealand this month.

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