(Reuters) - Japan's J-League will seek compensation from the country's government for losses sustained from having to hold matches in stadiums empty of paying customers amid the COVID-19 pandemic state of emergency, Kyodo news agency reported.
Japan on Friday declared "short and powerful" states of emergency for Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo as the country struggles to contain a resurgent coronavirus pandemic three months before the Olympic Games are scheduled to start.
The J-League said a total of 11 matches would be played without supporters present - seven in western Japan, including three top-flight games and two League Cup ties, and four games in Tokyo.
"We will request compensation after calculating the losses from refunding tickets and holding games without spectators," J-League chairman Mitsuru Murai was quoted as saying by Kyodo on Tuesday.
It is the first time that J-League games will be held behind closed doors since July. Murai said that while he understood the government's stance, last season's experience showed the league was capable of holding games safely.
"We have proven that spectators can be welcomed into stadiums safely," he said.
(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)