NPB practice games to be played without fans

Today, the twelve professional baseball clubs of the NPB have decided to continue playing the practice games scheduled from February 29 through March 15. But due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, no fans will be allowed to attend.

Yesterday, the Yomiuri Giants and the Yakult Swallows decided to play their practice games without attendance.

In an official statement NPB announced that all 72 practice games will be played without attendance in an attempt to stop the coronavirus from spreading.

Through its website, NPB stated the following: “There is a desire to converge the spread of the new coronavirus and a desire to create an environment where the official competition can begin by controlling the spread of the infection. We will do our best in the future. Please understand and cooperate.”

Strange enough, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called on Wednesday for sports and cultural events to be scrapped or curtailed for two weeks in the battle to stem a coronavirus contagion amid mounting concerns the 2020 Tokyo Olympics could be canceled, only after the NPB announced these steps.

For now, it is not clear if the regular NPB season will start as scheduled.

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