• Kyodo

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The Japan Rugby Football Union plans to hold the final of the national university championship as scheduled next week in Tokyo with up to around 17,000 spectators, a source with knowledge of the matter said Thursday.

The Japanese capital and three neighboring prefectures are subject to a state of emergency declared Thursday in response to a spike in coronavirus infections, with large venues having already been instructed to limit attendance as a safety measure.

Despite an upper limit of 5,000 spectators or 50 percent of venue capacity, some 17,000 advance ticketholders may still attend the final on Monday between Waseda and Tenri universities at Tokyo’s National Stadium.

The government reintroduced the entry limit last month to curb infections but made an exception for events to which tickets were already sold.

The JRFU had completed the preliminary ticket lottery for the final by the time the restrictions were imposed, and with limited time left before the match, decided to allow all ticketholders to attend. It will offer refunds to those who want them.

The JRFU will hold a briefing on its plans Friday.

The Japan Rugby Top League, which is due to kick off its season Jan. 16, is also weighing whether to honor tickets already sold in advance for its matches.

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