Tokyo: Sports events scheduled for Saturday in southwestern Japan have been cancelled due to the powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake that struck the country earlier in the day, the Kyodo news agency reported.
The earthquake killed at least 16 people, injuring hundreds more and trapping people in collapsed buildings, barely a day after a quake killed nine people in the same region.
The epicentre of the quake was near the city of Kumamoto on the southern island of Kyushu and measured at a shallow depth of 10 kilometres (six miles), according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Soccer, baseball and basketball games were called off for safety reasons as aftershocks hindered rescue efforts and fuelled fears of more powerful quakes.
Two matches were cancelled in the J-League, the country's top soccer division, while four matches in the second and third tier were also called off.
Horse racing and cycling events in Kumamoto and Fukuoka prefectures were also cancelled.