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Wednesday, 22nd February 2012
In Japan Sports News, Sports,

$50m debts throw Sumo wrestling into crisis

Sumo wrestling in Japan is in crisis after racking up debts of nearly $50 million last year.

Following a match-fixing controversy that saw the sport banned from television, the Japan Sumo Association (JSA) was forced to cancel the spring tournament leaving it in a perilous financial position, Asia One reported.

"We find ourselves in an extremely difficult position," the news provider quoted JSA chairman Kitanoumi as saying.

"We must face the problem and quickly restore the public's faith in sumo."

This mounting debt has heaped more problems on the under-fire sport which is suffering in the aftermath of the arrests and convictions that stemmed from the match-fixing investigations.

Now, the Japanese government has told the JSA that it must clean up its act if it wishes to continue receiving special tax breaks.

In 2010 the Mongolian sumo wrestler Asashoryu was forced to retire after a string of controversies that reportedly culminated in the champion drunkenly attacking a man outside a Tokyo nightclub.

Written by Kimberley Homer

Related news stories:
Sumo star warned over drug injections (9th November 2011)
Pilot shows there's life after sumo (16th October 2008)
Top Japan sumo wrestler retires (6th October 2008)
Yokozuna Asashoryu suffers first-day sumo defeat (12th May 2008)
Former sumo star sports police badge (13th September 2011)