Coronavirus Outbreak: Japanese baseball season to commence from 19 June with matches to be played behind closed doors

Japan’s professional baseball season will open on 19 June under a plan that excludes fans.

The Associated Press May 25, 2020 15:37:46 IST
Coronavirus Outbreak: Japanese baseball season to commence from 19 June with matches to be played behind closed doors

Tokyo: Japan’s professional baseball season will open on 19 June under a plan that excludes fans.

Coronavirus Outbreak Japanese baseball season to commence from 19 June with matches to be played behind closed doors

File image of a pre-season baseball match in Tokyo. AP

League commissioner Atsushi Saito made the announcement on Monday after an online meeting with representatives of the league's 12 teams.

The announcement came as the state of emergency was lifted in Tokyo and on the northern island of Hokkaido by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The state of emergency was lifted earlier this month for other parts of the country.

Teams can begin practice games on 2 June, the Japanese news agency Kyodo reported.

The season was to have begun on 20 March but the start was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Japan has reported about 850 deaths from COVID-19.

Japan joins South Korea and Taiwan whose leagues are open and playing largely without fans.

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