Women's matches postponed due to coronavirus threat

(Reuters) - Top women ice hockey players have postponed a three-game series against Japan’s national team due to the worsening of the coronavirus outbreak, the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA) announced on Monday.

The three exhibition matches in Japan were part of the US-based PWHPA’s efforts to highlight their fight against inequality.

The PWHPA, whose mission is to promote and advance a single women’s professional league with fair wages, were scheduled to play on March 4th, 5th and 7th at Tokyo’s Shin-Yokohama Skate Center.

“While both organizations were excited for the games, the health and safety of the players and supporters is their primary concern at this time,” said the PWHPA in a statement.

“The organizations will be working to reschedule the tournament in the 2020-2021 season.”

With Japan facing growing questions about whether it was doing enough to stop the spread of the coronavirus, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said on Friday it would cancel or postpone major indoor events it has sponsored for the next three weeks.

Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Ian Chadband