Soccer

South Africa pulls out of Japan U-23 friendly over virus concerns

Kyodo

South Africa has canceled a men’s under-23 friendly against Japan over concerns about the current COVID-19 outbreak, the Japan Football Association revealed Sunday.

According to the JFA’s technical director, Takashi Sekizuka, the South African Football Association has sent a letter of its intent to withdraw. The game between Olympic-age teams was to be played in Kyoto on March 27.

Japan is scheduled to play another African side, Cote d’Ivoire, on March 30, but the JFA has yet to hear from that federation regarding a possible cancellation.

“We desire to play games, but we have to conform to these decisions and build up as best we can,” senior and Olympic men’s team head coach Hajime Moriyasu said.

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