Tokyo football final postponed after coronavirus outbreak

AFP , Thursday 5 Nov 2020

Kashiwa Reysol
13 players and staff at Japan football team Kashiwa Reysol have tested positive for coronavirus (AFP)

Japan's Levain Cup football final has been postponed after 13 players and staff at Kashiwa Reysol, including their coach, tested positive for the coronavirus, the J-League said.

Reysol, led by their Brazilian coach Nelsinho Baptista, were due to face FC Tokyo on Saturday at Tokyo's National Stadium -- the main venue for next year's postponed Olympics -- in front of a sold-out, socially distanced crowd of 24,000.

"We decided to cancel (the final) with a view to preventing further spread of infection," a J-League statement said late Wednesday. A new date is yet to be decided.

Japan has been allowing limited audiences at sports events, but is testing capacity crowds at baseball stadiums with a view to easing current restrictions.

Tokyo is keen to show it can stage large-scale sporting events safely ahead of next year's Olympic Games. The Nikkan Sports daily reported that Tokyo 2020 organisers had planned to attend the Levain Cup final as observers.

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