Soccer / J. League

J. League mulls possibility of longer hiatus due to virus

Kyodo

The J. League is considering extending its hiatus through the end of March in response to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, multiple sources close to the matter said Friday.

On Feb. 25, when the J. League announced play would be suspended through March 15, two draft plans were prepared. One plan called for the resumption of play on March 18, while another outlined a restart for the first week of April.

The league’s board of directors and its executive committee are set to meet on Thursday to decide the matter.

The J. League was Japan’s first major sports governing body to announce a course of action to deal with the threat of the spreading coronavirus outbreak.

The Japan Rugby Top League followed suit and announced a temporary suspension of games, while Nippon Professional Baseball has been playing preseason games behind closed doors.

On Monday, the J. League announced the formation of a coronavirus liaison committee in conjunction with NPB, which is set to open its regular season on March 20.

A second meeting of the committee is set for Monday, when it will meet with experts to clarify issues related to staging regular season games in the current environment.

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