Friendly match between Japan, Chile suspended after powerful earthquake

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Tokyo, Sep 6 (IANS) The Japan Football Association decided on Thursday to suspend a friendly match between the national teams of Japan and Chile on the island of Hokkaido after a powerful earthquake struck the region.

Earlier in the day, Chile’s team was caught off guard by a 6.7-magnitude tremor that struck Japan’s Hokkaido island, where they were scheduled to play a friendly match at the Sapporo Dame stadium on Friday, reports Efe news agency.

“This decision was made upon careful evaluation of the magnitude of damage incurred, including damage to critical infrastructure such as power outages and significant transportation disruptions, as well as to ensure the security of all spectators,” the JFA said in a statement.

“We send our deepest condolences and sincerest sympathies to those affected by the earthquake that struck the central-eastern part of Iburi region in Hokkaido,” the JFA added.

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Chile’s coach Reinaldo Rueda tweeted that all the team members were safe while a JFA spokesperson confirmed to Efe that the team is still in Hokkaido but will depart for South Korea — where they will play a friendly on September 11 — as soon as preparations are complete.

–IANS

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