- Title: Kobe washout leaves Japanese baseball fans disappointed
- Date: 10th July 2020
- Summary: KOBE, JAPAN (JULY 10, 2020) (REUTERS) FANS WAITING IN RAIN FOR NIPPON PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL GAME BETWEEN YOMIURI GIANTS AND YAKULT SWALLOWS WOMAN EATING UNDER UMBRELLA GROUND STAFF PUTTING COVER OVER BATTER'S BOX FANS WAITING UNDER UMBRELLAS VARIOUS OF RAIN FALLING AS FANS TAKE SHELTER AFTER DECISION TO POSTPONE GAME IS TAKEN, FANS LEAVING STADIUM VARIOUS OF FANS LOOKING ON FANS LEAVING IN RAIN RAIN POURING DOWN RAIN POURING ON BASEBALL DIAMOND RAIN LANDING FAN HOLDING GIANTS BANNER IN RAIN
- Embargoed: 24th July 2020 16:12
- Keywords: Japan Nippon Professional Baseball baseball
- Location: KOBE, JAPAN
- City: KOBE, JAPAN
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Badminton,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA001CM86UKN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A day that began with joy at a return to something resembling normality ended in disappointment for baseball teams the Yomiuri Giants and Yakult Swallows who saw the first game of the season with fans allowed in washed out and postponed on Friday (July 10).
The Nippon Professional Baseball league began in mid-June, delayed by three months because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but without fans.
However, following an easing of restrictions in Japan, Friday marked the first time fans were allowed into stadia.
Up to 5,000 people are allowed to attend games, including Friday's clash between the Giants, Japan's most successful and popular team, and local rivals the Swallows, in Kobe.
However, just 20 minutes before the start of the game and with fans settling into their seats, a torrential downpour forced organisers to postpone the contest.
A couple of players from both teams did their best to cheer up the crowd, racing each other around the diamond before sliding into the puddle formed above the batters' box, but the disappointment was palpable as fans trudged home.
The game in Kobe was the only one called off on Friday, as five other NPB games went ahead with fans as planned.
At all games, supporters must pass through temperature checks on arrival, and there are markers on the ground at concession stands and bathrooms to aid social distancing.
The NPB hope to allow more fans into grounds as the season progresses and coronavirus restrictions ease further.
(Production: Jack Tarrant)
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