J-League restarts after four-month halt due to pandemic

All 18 J-League teams were in action on Saturday, and the nine games were played without fans. Meanwhile, Japan’s popular pro baseball league had restarted last month.

Yokohama F. Marinos was crowned the 2019 J-League champion (File Photo).   -  AFC.com

Japan’s professional football league restarted on Saturday after a four-month break caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

All 18 top-flight teams were in action, and the nine games were played without fans. Japan’s popular pro baseball league restarted last month, also without fans.

READ | Japan’s J-League set to resume play in stadiums without fans

The first division of the J-League suspended play in February after only one round of matches had been played.

It is expected to gradually start allowing fans to enter the stadiums later this month although that could be delayed with Tokyo reporting a steady increase in COVID-19 cases.

Japan has reported just under 1,000 deaths from the virus, in a population of 126 million.

A key J-League match saw defending champion Yokohama facing the Urawa Reds in Saitama, just on the outskirts of Tokyo.

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