Spectators of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament received more disappointing news Sunday in the wake of injury-hit yokozuna Terunofuji's withdrawal.

Sales of "yakitori" skewered grilled chicken at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan have been temporarily suspended due to a coronavirus outbreak among workers at the plant that supplies the venue's popular traditional snack, the Japan Sumo Association said.

The yakitori is grilled in the basement of sumo's principal venue, but infections at a worker's dormitory in Iwate Prefecture, where the meat is skewered, halted production.

"It can't be helped," a person in charge of food sales said. "We won't be able to sell yakitori until Day 4 or 5. We wanted to do something, though, because it's our main food item."

This past Friday, Terunofuji's stablemaster said the Mongolian-born grand champion has to sit out the year's first tournament to focus on making a full recovery from surgery to both knees.

Spectators watch the first day of action at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Jan. 8, 2023, at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan. (Kyodo)

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