Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 9 July 2020

From baseball in Tokyo to football at the Maracana, sport returns behind closed doors - in pictures

Flamengo beat Bangu in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday night

Brazilian football resumed after a three-month hiatus on Thursday night, with Flamengo beating Bangu 3-0 at an empty Maracana Stadium in the first game of the restarted Rio de Janeiro state championship.

The match marked the return of Brazil's state leagues, most of which were halted in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Most of the other state championships have not yet set a date for resumption.

The restart in Brazil has caused controversy, with top clubs Botafogo and Fluminense saying they will not turn up for scheduled games this weekend.

Another 1,238 people were reported to have died in Brazil on Thursday from Covid-19, taking the overall death count to 47,748.

Meanwhile, Japan's professional baseball season began behind closed doors on Friday, three months after the originally scheduled start.

The country's 12 professional baseball teams were scheduled to play six games across Japan.

J-league top-flight football will resume on July 4 after the season was suspended in February. The pandemic has already forced a one-year delay to the summer Tokyo Olympics, and suspended everything from sumo to the summer high-school baseball tournament.

Updated: June 19, 2020 01:55 PM

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