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J-League, pro sports postponed amid deadly tsunami

TOKYO » All weekend matches in Japan’s top soccer league have been postponed and other pro sports have been put on hold following a deadly earthquake and tsunami which have devastated parts of eastern Japan.

A powerful tsunami spawned by the largest earthquake in Japan’s recorded history slammed the eastern coast Friday, sweeping away people, homes, cars and boats as widespread fires burned out of control. Authorities said hundreds of people have been killed.

The J-League announced that 19 matches in the national soccer competition had been postponed, while baseball games in Tokyo, Chiba and Yokohama have been canceled.

A special committee meeting investigating match-fixing in the traditional Japanese sport of sumo has also been delayed.

But the International Skating Union said it has no plans to cancel the figure skating world championships in Tokyo, which is scheduled to begin March 21.

ISU spokeswoman Selina Vanier told The Associated Press that the Yoyogi National Stadium appears to be unscathed.

The Philippines national soccer team managed to play a training match against a Kanto Gakuin University squad shortly after the quake struck. The Azakals, who lost the game 4-0, are in Gotemba — about 50 miles southwest of Tokyo — for cold-weather training before the AFC Challenge Cup against Mongolia in Ulaan Baatar on Tuesday.

 

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