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Page last updated at 11:32 GMT, Monday, 14 March 2011

Japan's J.League halted after earthquake and tsunami

Japan earthquake
Japan's north-eastern coast was devastated by the quake and tsunami

Matches in Japanese football's J.League have been postponed indefinitely after the recent earthquake and tsunami.

On Monday, all games in March were called off because of the devastation caused by the natural disaster.

J.League club officials met on Tuesday and agreed that plans to play again in April should be scrapped.

Kashima Antlers president Shigeru Ibata said: "There's no telling when we can restart the league again. The situation is getting worse by the day."

On Monday, Japan's football chief backtracked on plans to go ahead with two friendly internationals because of the crisis engulfing his nation, with many thousands dead and fears growing over safety at a damaged nuclear power plant.

Japan had been due to play games against Montenegro at the Shizuoka Stadium, south-west of Tokyo on 25 March and New Zealand in the capital itself four days later.

But Japan Football Association general secretary Kozo Tashimaon said the JFA "was keeping its options open" and would make a final decision by Wednesday.

Tashimaon had initially said of the friendlies: "It would mean something to stage these games, more than ever."

But on Monday he stated: "The information we now have and what we had yesterday is different, and it could change again tomorrow for all we know.

"We have to look at all the factors, like travelling to and from Shizuoka. We will operate on accurate, correct information. What we won't do is make a decision based on whim."

Other sports have also been affected in the aftermath of 8.9 magnitude earthquake.

Sunday's Nagoya International women's marathon, a qualifying race for the World Athletics Championships in August, was called off.

All of the weekend's Japanese Baseball games were scrapped, as was a Japan LPGA women's golf event in Kochi, which had started on Thursday.

The International Skating Union has cancelled the World Figure Skating Championships, which were set to be held in Tokyo from 21-27 March.

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see also
Radiation alert after Japan blast
15 Mar 11 |  Asia-Pacific
Crisis-hit Japan postpones MotoGP
15 Mar 11 |  MotoGP
Tokyo cancels World skating event
22 Mar 11 |  Winter Sports
New blast at Japan nuclear plant
14 Mar 11 |  Asia-Pacific
Japan crisis 'worst since WWII'
14 Mar 11 |  Asia-Pacific
Japan fears second reactor blast
13 Mar 11 |  Asia-Pacific
As it happened: Japan earthquake on Friday
11 Mar 11 |  Asia-Pacific

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