Japan cancels US soccer tour

TOKYO — The Japanese women's soccer team canceled a tour in the United States today because of the swine flu outbreak.

The team was scheduled to play the U.S. team on May 20 in Frisco, Texas, and May 23 in Sandy City, Utah. The team was to travel to Canada for a match in Toronto on May 25.

Japan's health ministry confirmed the fourth case of swine flu on Sunday, a day after the country's first three were reported. The ministry said the fourth case is a teenager who recently returned from Canada on a high school trip with the three others.

The Japan Football Association, which announced the decision, said it may have to pay damages for breach of contract.

Also today, Malaysian soccer officials canceled next month's Intercontinental Cup under-23 tournament because of the threat of swine flu.

The Football Association of Malaysia canceled the eight-team tournament after consulting with the nation's Health Ministry, the New Straits Times reported.

Among the teams that had been expected to play in the June 1-14 tournament were Brazil, Mexico and South Korea, which have each confirmed cases of swine flu.

The number of countries reporting swine flu cases stands at 31, with the World Health Organization confirming about 4,800 cases. At least 61 people have been killed by swine flu around the world: 56 in Mexico, three in the U.S., one in Canada and one in Costa Rica.

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