The first U.S. Forces Japan-American Football League semifinal will have to wait.
Transportation problems and work issues related to this weekend’s Yokota Air Base Friendship Festival forced the Yokota Warriors to postpone their Saturday semifinal showdown with the Marauders at Misawa Air Base until Sept. 2, league commissioner Kyle Rhodus announced Thursday.
The league championship Torii Bowl will be moved from Sept. 2 to Sept. 9.
“It’s been tough at this end,” Yokota coach Christopher Bell said of a week-long effort to get players released from working the two-day festival and trying to secure air and ground transportation to Misawa. “All the players are disappointed.”
League rules state that each team may exercise the right to postpone a game if work or transportation difficulties arise. Earlier, the Marauders used their postponement rights to have the same playoff game, originally scheduled for Aug. 26, moved ahead a week to the 19th because of an exercise.
“If either team cannot play this game on Sept. 2, it will go down as a forfeit,” Rhodus said in an e-mail Thursday to the league coaches and referees.
The second semifinal, pitting last-place Atsugi at regular-season champion Yokosuka, will be played as scheduled starting at 6 p.m. Aug. 26. The semifinal winners will play in the Torii Bowl on Sept. 9 at a time and site to be determined, Rhodus said.
Bell said the team still faces problems securing transportation to Misawa for a Sept. 2 game.
“If push comes to shove, we’ll all just buy bullet-train tickets,” he said.