Japan Pro Baseball, Soccer Games May Be Suspended Longer

Sports

Tokyo, March 23 (Jiji Press)--A panel of infectious disease experts told Japan's two major professional sports governing bodies, for baseball and soccer, on Monday that restarting official matches in front of live audiences soon is difficult amid the new coronavirus epidemic.

The team led by Mitsuo Kaku, a professor at Tohoku Medical and Pharmaceutical University, called on the Nippon Professional Baseball Organization and the Japan Professional Football League, or J.League, to delay restarts of matches as much as possible.

The advice was given in the fourth meeting of a joint committee set up by the NPB and J.League to discuss coronavirus countermeasures.

"If the current situation does not change, I felt that the start of the regular season might be in late April," NPB Commissioner Atsushi Saito said after the committee meeting in Tokyo.

"If it's difficult to restart games on April 3, we are simulating scenarios for changing the season schedule in two-week periods," J.League Chairman Mitsuru Murai said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press