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Japanese Derby to Have no Fans as Racing Ban Extended Till End of Next Month

Horse racing (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Horse racing (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Japanese derby is slated to take place on May 28 but the coronavirus ban has been extended till May 31.

Tokyo: Japan's Racing Association on Thursday extended a ban on spectators until the end of next month, dashing hopes that fans could be allowed to attend the Japanese Derby in Tokyo on May 28.

All races "will be held without spectators from the viewpoint of preventing spread of the new coronavirus" until May 31, the JRA said, with a decision on allowing the gates to reopen to be made at a later date.

Horses and jockeys will not be allowed to travel between regions, the JRA said, but racing will continue at tracks with locally-based horses and riders.

The British Horse Racing Authority announced last week that UK racing would be suspended into May and not resume as previously hoped on April 30.

Japan's professional football and baseball seasons have been to early May, with media reporting there could be further suspensions.

Japan has seen a relatively small outbreak compared to parts of Europe or the United States, with nearly 12,000 infections and around 290 deaths.

But a recent jump in infections has caused concern, put pressure on local healthcare facilities and prompted the government to declare a month-long state of emergency that will run until May 6.
first published:April 23, 2020, 13:13 IST