Official lobbies for Summer Basho

Kyodo News

Kunio Anzai, the head of an advisory body for the Japan Sumo Association’s governing council, has urged the association to consider holding the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament as scheduled in May out of respect for fans of the scandal-weary sport.

The Spring Grand Sumo Tournament scheduled for this month was canceled in the wake of a bout-rigging scheme and the staging of the upcoming basho is under threat as a JSA special investigation panel has yet to get to the bottom of the latest scandal to tarnish the image of the ancient sport.

“I think there are lots of things that won’t come to light even if you delve into the past and I have told (the JSA) that it should instead look ahead and think about what to do in the future,” said Anzai.

“Sumo is in a real fix right now. Fans are crucial to sumo. I think (tournaments) need to continue otherwise the fans will find another sport to go off and watch.”