Japan's Levain Cup final postponed after team's COVID-19 outbreak

Jack Tarrant
·1-min read

By Jack Tarrant

TOKYO (Reuters) - The final of Japan's Levain Cup, set to take place at Tokyo's National Stadium on Saturday, has been postponed after a cluster of COVID-19 infections at one of the participating teams, the J.League announced on Wednesday.

The J.League announced that Kashiwa Reysol reported 13 positive tests within their players and team staff ahead of the final against FC Tokyo.

The decision comes three days before the match was scheduled to take place at the National Stadium in front of a sold-out crowd of 24,000.

The J.League have not said when the match will now be played, with the league's chairman Mitsuru Murai saying that the chances of holding the fixture in 2021 was "not zero".

"We know that a lot of fans were looking forward to this match…. We will work with the two clubs to determine a new date," Murai said at a virtual news conference.

Rescheduling the match will not be simple, as Tokyo head to Qatar later this month to participate in the Asian Champions League.

The domestic J.League and Emperor's Cup competitions also need to be concluded.

Professional sports stadiums in Japan have been limited to 50% capacity as part of efforts to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, with the vast majority of games going ahead.

The National Stadium was built for the Tokyo Olympics, which have now been postponed until next year because of the pandemic.

(Reporting by Jack Tarrant; Editing by Christian Radnedge)