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Sporting events called off after Japan Earthquake

Sporting events called off after Japan Earthquake
March 15, 2011

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has postponed Asian Champions League matches in Japan following Friday's catastrophic earthquake and tsunami.

AFC President Mohamed Bin Hammam stated via Twitter that Champions League games scheduled for this week in Nagoya and Kashima would be indefinitely suspended to allow the country time to recover from the devastating disaster. Nagoya Grampus was due to play United Arab Emirates' club Al Ain on Tuesday and Kashima Antlers was slated to host Australia's Sydney FC on Wednesday.

Bin Hammam wrote "I want to announce that AFC will postpone AFC Champions League matches in Japan until further notice," adding that the "AFC will make an announcement after taking stock of the situation in the near future. This is a personal tragedy for me and I feel their pain. My thoughts are with the people of Japan in this very difficult hour."

The domestic J-League has also been suspended while the Japan national team's football friendlies against Montenegro on 25th March and New Zealand on 29th March are in doubt. Other sporting events have been called off, including baseball games in Tokyo, Chiba and Yokohama, and a special committee meeting investigating match-fixing in Sumo wrestling has also been delayed.

The International Skating Union (ISU) has also called off the World Figure Skating Championships in Tokyo, scheduled to begin on 21st March and continue until 27th March.

The ISU has not decided whether the event should be cancelled, or just postponed.

Explaining the decision, an ISU spokesman said: "our first concern has to be the security of the athletes, the spectators and everyone else involved."

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