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KAMAISHI, Japan - Rugby World Cup organizers said Saturday they are still undecided whether to go ahead with Sunday's match between Namibia and Canada in Kamaishi as a massive typhoon made landfall in Japan's main island of Honshu.
The match between the Pool B teams is scheduled to start at 12:15 p.m. at Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium in Iwate Prefecture, northeastern Japan. The organizers, however, said they need to inspect the venue and assess the impact of Typhoon Hagibis on Sunday morning in a bid to assure safety of the players and those attending.
"Safety is our number one consideration and with Typhoon Hagibis predicted to impact Kamaishi in the early hours of Sunday morning, we continue to be in close contact with the city and the local authorities regarding the viability of hosting the match on Sunday as scheduled," World Rugby and the tournament organizing committee said in a statement.
(Fans at Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium)
"We have advised the Namibia and Canada teams of the current situation and potential of cancellation, and our message to fans not currently in Kamaishi is not to travel before confirmation of the match status following a full assessment of the venue and associated infrastructure early on Sunday morning."
The typhoon, which made landfall Saturday evening, has already caused cancellation of two World Cup games. The New Zealand-Italy Pool B game to be played in Toyota, central Japan, for Saturday and the Pool C match between England and France set for Yokohama, near Tokyo, the same day were cancelled earlier in the week.
Four matches are scheduled to be played on Sunday, including a Pool A match between Japan and Scotland in Yokohama. The organizers have said they will also assess those venues in the morning before making final decisions on whether to go ahead with the matches or not.