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Japan's sporting schedule hit in aftermath of quake disaster

Friday's earthquake and subsequent tsunami wreaked havoc on Japan.
Friday's earthquake and subsequent tsunami wreaked havoc on Japan.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Sporting fixtures are cancelled across Japan following earthquake and tsunami
  • World Figure Skating Championships scheduled in Tokyo this month are postponed
  • All J-League football matches are called off for the rest of the month
  • Japanese Football Association may cancel international friendlies

(CNN) -- A number of high profile sporting events across Japan have been called off as the country continues to come to terms with the devastation caused by Friday's earthquake and tsunami.

Following the 8.9 magnitude quake, it was confirmed on Monday that the World Figure Skating Championships, due to take place in Tokyo between March 21-27, have been postponed.

The Japanese Football Association (JFA) announced that there will no matches in the J-League for the rest of the month, and said the domestic season would instead continue into July.

The sport's governing body in Japan also said that they would make a final decision over whether to reschedule the upcoming friendly fixtures against Montenegro on March 25 and New Zealand on March 29 later this week.

Taking into account the critical developments in Japan, the staging of the championships is not possible
--president of the International Skating Union, Ottavio Cinquanta
RELATED TOPICS
  • Figure Skating
  • Soccer
  • Asia

The JFA had originally said it wanted to go ahead with the matches claiming it was more important than ever to do so for the country.

However, as the death toll rose to almost 2,000 and aftershocks continued across the country, the president of the International Skating Union (ISU) Ottavio Cinquanta said it would not be possible to hold their annual competition in Japan.

"Taking into account the continued critical developments in Japan, the staging of the championships is not possible," he said in a statement. "The ISU's primary concern is for the safety of all participants and spectators."

Cinquanta added that the organization had not yet decided whether the event would be held at a later date elsewhere or canceled all together. But he but did confirm that Team Trophy in Figure Skating scheduled to be held in Yokohama on April 14-17 had also been called off.

Sporting events over the weekend were also been disrupted as the country continued its lengthy search and rescue, and clean-up operations.

Sunday's Nagoya International women's marathon did not go ahead, nor did any baseball games, and a LPGA women's golf event in Kochi, which had started on Thursday, was abandoned.