J-League Chairman: Sendai Stadium in Ruins

Vegalta Sendai's players are returning home, but facilities were destroyed and people 'are struggling to live' in the city.
J-League chairman Kazumi Ohigashi has held a short news conference in Tokyo today, explaining the devastation to the footballing infrastructure caused by last Friday's earthquake in Japan.

With the league committee set to meet tomorrow to attempt to reorganize a football season that, as with the rest of life in Japan, has been devastated by the events of last week. Ohigashi's message comes as a somber warning for the game.

"Things are very serious right now. With the aftershocks continuing and the inability to guarantee complete safety at all the stadiums, the J-League has made the decision to cancel all J1, J2 and Nabisco Cup matches for the rest of March," Ohigashi told the news conference.

At least 41 J-League matches and two AFC Champions League matches have been postponed.

Ohigashi also reported that Vegalta Sendai club president Yoichi Shirohata told him that the club's stadium and facilities are in ruins, the club's foreign players are returning home, and Japanese players from other regions are also joining their families back to their hometowns, as life in Sendai prefecture is being made extremely difficult by the lack of water and electricity.

"They're struggling to live over there. It's not about training or the game," concluded Ohigashi.

Sendai was the nearest big city to the epicenter of the earthquake. A big part of the urban area was washed away by the tsunami, and deaths are at least in the hundreds.

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